Chile’s New Constitution: Voters overwhelmingly reject proposal in referendum

According to the Chilean Electoral Authority, 98% of the votes were counted, with 62% of voters rejecting the proposal and 38% voting in favor.

A new constitution would have provided full gender equality, added seats reserved for indigenous representatives, and strengthened environmental regulations.

The current constitution was drawn up under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled the country from 1973 to 1990.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric tweeted Saturday night ahead of the start of Sunday morning voting.

The proposed changes came amid social unrest and public discontent caused by the subway fare hike in October 2019, when then-President Sebastian Piñera called for a referendum to create a new constitution in 2020. was started in

In October 2020, more than 78% of Chilean voters approved a referendum to propose constitutional amendments, and in June 2021 they voted again to elect members of the Constituent Assembly.

The Constitutional Assembly was the first parliament in the world to achieve full gender equality and the first in the history of the country to have seats reserved for representatives of indigenous peoples.

Proponents hoped that their progressive stance would be reflected in the new, updated constitution.

Some waved flags in celebration of the proposed constitutional rejection.

The constitutional process itself also gave the country an institutional path out of its social crisis, responding to the demands of contemporary Chileans for a more equal, more inclusive and participatory democracy. Internationally acclaimed.

After much deliberation, the final draft of constitutional amendments was presented to Piñera’s successor, left-wing Gabriel Boric, in July of this year.

But back in October 2020, while most Chilean voters supported the idea of ​​amending the constitution, there was disagreement on the proposed draft.

Shortly after the draft was made public, various polls showed a growing tendency to reject the charter, and the government began publicly acknowledging that scenario.

The defeated constitution will be one of the most progressive in the world, giving the state a front-line role in the provision of social rights.

The draft focused on indigenous self-determination and environmental protection, and dismantled the highly privatized water rights system. It called for gender equality in all public institutions and businesses and advocated respect for sexual diversity. He also envisioned a new national healthcare system.

but the project split violently.

Right-wingers argued that the draft would shift the country too far to the left, or that it was too ambitious to translate into efficient legislation. With the slogan “Approve reforms”, they wanted adjustments.

Images from the country’s capital Santiago on Sunday showed a gloomy mood among supporters of the constitution, while some celebrated the news of being voted against.

Michelle Velez, Daniela Mohor W., and Jorge Engels of CNN contributed to this report.


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