Chile's ex-President Michelle Bachelet was named Saturday at a massive ceremony as representative of the Socialist Party, or PS, and the smaller Party for Democracy, or PPD, in the opposition's presidential primaries.
The primaries will be held June 30, during which the leading political blocs will nominate their candidates for the presidential election on Nov. 17.
"I'm back in the country with all the energy and also with all the humility that this challenge demands," said Bachelet, who governed Chile from 2006-2010, at the beginning of her speech, in which she repeated that the focus of her potential second term in office will be "the fight against inequality."
A capacity crowd of 6,000 people filled the Caupolican Theater in downtown Santiago to acclaim the ex-president.
Before the event began, a video was shown of Bachelet's last few days in New York as director of U.N. Women, her resignation from that organization, her empty office and her return to Chile.
In the June 30 primaries, as representative of the PS and the PPD, Bachelet will run against three other candidates for the sole candidacy of the opposition Concertacion, a center-left coalition that ruled Chile between 1990 and 2010.
The primaries of the governing conservative Coalition for Change, meanwhile, will pit Laurence Golborne, ex-minister of public works for current President Sebastian Piñera, backed by the Independent Democratic Union, or UDI, against Andres Allamand, ex-defense minister of the current government and the candidate of Piñera's National Renovation party.
Piñera is constitutionally barred from running for a second consecutive term.
Opinion polls strongly favor Michelle Bachelet and some surveys even suggest she could win November's election in the first round. EFE