UPDATE 1-Power slips from Pinochet cronies as Chile's lithium giant revamps board

miércoles 22 de abril de 2015 20:10 GYT

* Shareholders will vote for new SQM board on Friday in Santiago

* Chairman and Pinochet aide Ponce is not among nominees

* New Potash Corp nominees suggest a deal has been struck

* SQM is top global supplier of lithium, iodine (Recasts with chairman stepping down, adds nominees)

By Rosalba O'Brien and Felipe Iturrieta

SANTIAGO, April 22 (Reuters) - Chile's SQM, the world's biggest producer of key battery ingredient lithium, will get a new board on Friday minus the man who has led it for nearly three decades, as the scandal-plagued company moves to reassure investors about its corporate governance.

SQM , also an important supplier of iodine and other chemicals, was privatized in the 1980s under then-dictator Augusto Pinochet. His son-in-law at the time, Julio Ponce, bought up stakes that made him a billionaire and chairman of the company.

But shortly after an insider-trading probe last year that saw Ponce and others fined, the company has become mired in a fresh scandal over illicit campaign financing, largely of Pinochet's right-wing party the UDI.

The scandal has convulsed the political and business elite in Chile and already claimed the scalp of Patricio Contesse, SQM's chief executive, who was fired last month for refusing to cooperate with authorities.   Continuación...