Chile's congressional elections are governed by a unique binominal system that rewards coalition slates. Each coalition can present two candidates for the two Senate and two lower-chamber seats apportioned to each chamber's electoral districts. Typically, the two largest coalitions split the seats in a district. Only if the leading coalition ticket outpolls the second-place coalition by a margin of more than 2-to-1 does the winning coalition gain both seats. The political parties with the largest representation in the current Chilean Congress are the centrist Christian Democrat Party (Democracia Cristiana) and the conservative Independent Democratic Union (Unión Demócrata Independiente). The Communist Party and the small Humanist Party failed to gain any seats in the 1997 elections.

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