SANTIAGO, Chile — Billionaire and former President Sebastian Pinera appeared headed to a victory in Chile’s presidential runoff election, with more than 82 percent of the votes counted Sunday night.

Officials said Pinera had just over 54 percent of the votes to nearly 45 percent for center-left Sen. Alejandro Guillier.

The early results prompted Pinera supporters to celebrate at his campaign headquarters.

Pinera won last month’s first round, but his 36.6 percent vote share fell far short of what polls had projected. Guillier got 22.7 percent in the first round and had been counting on support from backers of other left-leaning candidates who were eliminated.

The 64-year-old Guillier was backed by outgoing President Michelle Bachelet, but many Chileans have been disillusioned by lagging economic growth under her watch, a problem based largely on lower international prices for copper, which is the backbone of Chile’s economy. Many leftists also feel she wavered on her promises of profound social changes in labor and education policies.

Pinera, 68, struggled with large protests over Chile’s inequality and demands for education reform during his first term as president, and left office in 2014 with low popularity ratings. But he also oversaw annual economic growth of about 5 percent a year.

“I think we’ll win these elections and better times will come for all Chileans,” Pinera said after casting his vote in the Chilean capital.

The conservative politician proposes slashing taxes on business to revive growth and vows to launch a $14 billion, four-year spending plan that includes fresh investments in infrastructure.

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