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February 10, 2023
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Senator Juan Ignacio Latorre (RD): “We are not going to have the possibility of another constituent process”

Finally they managed to convince the PS, but not the PPD, which decided to follow its own path and, with this, there was an incision in a Democratic Socialism that, inevitably, will find itself confronted in the campaign that has just begun for the elections of constitutional advisers of the next May 7. I Approve Dignity tried, in all possible ways, to convene a unitary official list; However, the reiterated calls from President Gabriel Boric and former President Bachelet were not enough, and the fracture became evident last Monday, with the registration of candidacies in the Electoral Service (Servel).

In this context, the truth is that no one in the ruling party was completely satisfied: not even I Approve Dignity, for failing in its attempt to summon unity; nor the PPD, which made the risky decision to compete in agreement with the DC and the PR, lamenting the distance with the PS. Faced with this scenario, one of the leaders of “Unity for Chile”, the only senator of the Broad Front and president of the Democratic Revolution (DR), Juan Ignacio Latorre, gives his opinion on the pro-government division in the electoral heat of this new constituent process, and denies that there was an ideological confrontation between the influences of former presidents Lagos and Bachelet.

In this regard, the parliamentarian refers to the criticism of the nomination of candidates related to the “old politics”, with evident links with the former Concertación and the former New Majority. In this sense, he points out that each party has the freedom to choose its cards, complying with minimum standards of ethics and probity. On the other hand, the DR helmsman maintains that in this new constituent process there is no margin for error, and that it is one where, furthermore, success is not guaranteed. “We have the challenge of building trust between political parties and citizens, and promoting a pact for democratic coexistence between different political forces that consider the new Constitution as their own, unitary, that is the basis of democracy and politics in our country. “, he assures.

-Do you consider that it was a failure for President Gabriel Boric, and the political project he heads, that the PPD could not be convinced to form a unitary official list? How decisive can this fracture in Democratic Socialism be for internal coexistence from now on?
-We as Approve Dignity, and particularly as the Democratic Revolution, defined several weeks ago in our political councils a vote in favor of unity and willingness to build a unitary official list, even with the willingness to also invite the Christian Democracy, from the DC to the PC, as also expressed by former President Michelle Bachelet in the Socialist Party. However, this was not achieved, the PPD and the Radical Party decided autonomously to register a pact with the DC, reviving the Concertación, seeking a vote of the center and going against the request made by President Gabriel Boric, also as head of the coalition. Now, that was not an instruction or an order to the parties, since the parties have autonomy and can sign the pacts they deem appropriate.

-What do you think of the search of the PPD and the list that it heads to capture the vote of the center, differentiating itself from the ideological positions of the Broad Front and the Communist Party?
-I disagree with that thesis that this search for the center is going to be fruitful in an election with mandatory voting and, furthermore, in an election where I believe that the incentives do not have to be placed on differentiation, but rather on the unity of purpose and unity of content. In fact, the official parties have built common constitutional bases in recent months, with our experts in the field, and all the official parties signed this. Therefore, I do not think there are big differences when it comes to proposing constitutional content to the public.

-From the ruling party, voices have emerged detracting from the “drama” and “transcendence” of the elections on May 7th. Do you think that this process has been attributed more importance than it really has?
-This is a second historical constituent process, where we cannot fail, where it has to be successful, where success is not guaranteed and we have the challenge of building trust between the political parties and citizens, and promoting a pact for democratic coexistence between different forces policies that consider the new Constitution as their own, unitary, that is the basis of democracy and politics in our country, and that is enabling the different programs of the right, center and left, that no one is excluded and that no generate the divisions generated by a Constitution imposed in a dictatorship, by blood and fire.

-Do you adhere to the thesis that there was a clash of influences here between former presidents Lagos and Bachelet, prior to the elaboration of the official lists? What is your opinion regarding the criticism for the inclusion of candidates linked to the “old politics”, either the former Concertación or the former New Majority?
-I think that we will not have another possibility of another constituent process in this cycle. I leave aside the disputes between Lagos and Bachelet, I think they have legitimate opinions as former presidents, but here it is the parties that define their alliance policies and their electoral pacts. And regarding the registration of candidacies, each party has the right to raise the lists that it deems appropriate, no one exercises any veto over candidates from other parties, unless there are issues related to corruption or legal incompatibilities, but in terms of electoral or political profile , each party autonomously defines its candidacies and I believe that the pact we signed – “Unity for Chile” – reflects that diversity, from the PL to the PC. I believe that we are progressive parties, with a desire for change and transformation, and that we have sought the broadest possible unity within the ruling party, following the recommendation made to us by President Gabriel Boric.

– Do you think that there will be, in the campaign that has just begun, a covert dispute for the center-left electorate, between your list and the one headed by the PPD? How is it possible to be a government alliance and political adversaries at the same time?
-We believe that the name on our list, “Unity for Chile”, is a name that implies the construction of a new democratic Constitution for Chile, which is a factor of unity and not division, as was the Constitution of Jaime Guzmán, imposed in dictatorship. These are the challenges that lie ahead and also ensure that the pro-government and center-left forces have adequate representation in the constituent body, and that our political adversary to defeat is rather the extreme right and the populisms that do not want change. constitutional, who do not believe in this process, and who were not at the signing of the agreement to enable a new constituent process. That is our political adversary to defeat, and also the conservative sectors of the traditional right who want to maintain as much as possible the neoliberal model and the subsidiary State of the current Constitution.

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