Page last updated at 09:30 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 10:30 UK

Pinochet daughter bids for office

Lucia Pinochet Hiriart in a file photo from 1999 when her father was under house arrest in Britain
Lucia Pinochet Hiriart said she made her mind up to run at the last minute

The eldest daughter of Chile's former leader Augusto Pinochet is to run for a seat in municipal elections in October.

Lucia Pinochet Hiriart says she will stand as councillor in the Santiago district of Vitacura, where she lives.

The municipal posts have limited power, but correspondents say the polls will test the political climate for the 2009 presidential election.

Gen Pinochet died in 2006 without facing a full trial for the alleged crimes committed in his 17-year rule.

Lucia Pinochet Hiriart signed up to run as an independent in the local council elections later this year which will elect new mayors and councillors.

She signed up on Monday to stand as councillor in Vitacura, one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods of the Chilean capital.

She, her siblings and mother were briefly detained in 2007 amid an investigation into whether they helped Gen Pinochet embezzle millions of dollars of public money during his rule.

All but the eldest Pinochet son were cleared of the charges.

Gen Pinochet, who died on 10 December 2006, was accused of fraud as well as human rights abuses, but poor health meant he never faced trial.

More than 3,000 people were killed or "disappeared" during military rule in Chile between 1973 and 1990.

Pinochet family charges dropped
26 Oct 07 |  Americas
Did Pinochet kill or cure Chile?
11 Dec 06 |  Business
Timeline: Chile
28 Feb 08 |  Country profiles

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