Chile votes for the drafters of the new Constitution

The electors of Chili They went to the polls this Sunday to choose the 50 editors who will have to write a new Constitution, after the majority rejection of the previous project eight months ago.

This is the most recent step in a process to replace the Magna Carta bequeathed by the military dictatorship of the South American country and which began with massive protests in 2019, explains a dispatch from the agency PA.

More than 15.1 million Chileans are summoned to vote, in which participation is mandatory and those who do not vote risk fines ranging from 31,000 to 189,000 pesos (38 to 230 dollars), points out the American media.

After noon, the Chilean Elections Service (SERVEL) reported that 100% of the ballot receiving tables were constituted, confirms the journalistic information. According to press reports, the voting process took place calmly.

President Gabriel Boric voted early in Punta Arenas, 3,000 kilometers south of Santiago. After casting his vote, the president declared that, whatever the result of the election, “configures an advance for the country where we have been able to give continuity to a process that has not been easy.”

“As a country, we have a historic opportunity to reconcile, after the fractures we have experienced, and move towards a developed and inclusive country, where no one is left behind,” Boric said.

Photograph provided by the Chilean Presidency of the president, Gabriel Boric, while participating in the second constituent elections in Punta Arenas, this Sunday. Photo: Presidency of Chile / EFE.

Analysts and politicians consider the election as a virtual plebiscite for the president’s administration, whose disapproval rate is close to 70%, according to polls cited by PA.

The failure of the previous text, which was described as one of the most progressive Magna Cartas in the world, was seen as a defeat for Boric, who supported its approval.

The current one is the second constituent process that Chileans are going through after what happened last September, when around 62% of the electorate rejected a first text prepared by a leftist convention.

On this occasion, the polls indicate that there is a marked disinterest in the elections and a great disinformation of the electorate about the candidates.

According to the news office, the polls give the right-wing and center-right opposition an advantage over the ruling party.

If the right wins 30 seats or more of the 50 in dispute, it would gain full control of the constituent body and could pass the rules without negotiating with political rivals.

Chileans queue to vote in the elections for the second constituent elections at the Blas Cañas Commercial Institute, in Santiago de Chile.  Photo: Ailen Diaz / EFE.
Chileans queue to vote in the elections for the second constituent elections at the Blas Cañas Commercial Institute, in Santiago de Chile. Photo: Ailen Diaz / EFE.

This day is the seventh election in Chile since the social outbreak of 2019, which opened the way to replace the current Constitution, imposed in 1981 by the Pinochet military dictatorship. And it is the second time that the constitutional drafters are chosen, after that of 2021.

Unlike the first constitutional process, when the drafters of the text started from a blank sheet of paper, the 50 councilors who will be elected this Sunday will work on a constitutional draft prepared by 24 experts appointed by the political parties, he explains. PA.

In turn, the experts worked within the framework of 12 constitutional bases elaborated by the political parties to avoid re-foundational changes included in the rejected text, which proposed a plurinational Chile with indigenous autonomies.

Among the bases are the one that establishes that Chile is a unitary State, “social and democratic by law”, respect for rights such as life, property and equality before the law, and the bicameral system.

The directors, who must be framed in the same bases, will have five months to prepare a new proposal, which will be put to a referendum on December 17.

(With information from AP)

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