President Augusto Pinochet on Friday announced that balloting to choose a president for the 1989-97 term will take place within the next 90 days.

"There are less than 90 days left for the plebiscite," Pinochet told a rally of his supporters in this port city 330 miles south of Santiago, the capital.

The 72-year-old president and army commander, who has ruled this South American nation since a 1973 coup, is considered the most likely candidate for the presidential balloting, which will be a yes-or-no vote on a single candidate.