Allende's daughter to become Chilean Senate leader

Salvador Allende's daughter to become Chile's first female Senate leader

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- The daughter of toppled President Salvador Allende will become the first woman to lead Chile's Senate.

Lawmakers of President-elect Michelle Bachelet's New Majority party chose Sen. Isabel Allende as their leader on Thursday. She begins her new post March 11 after Bachelet's swearing-in.

Allende said Friday that she hopes her role will help other women join the world of politics. She also said she's proud to hold the same post that her father held between 1966 and 1969.

The first elected Marxist president in the Americas committed suicide rather than surrender to coup plotters led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet on Sept. 11, 1973. The military coup launched a bloody 17-year dictatorship.