The Chilean people are preparing to change the current constitution, which is derived from the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, which lasted from 1973 to 1990. Voting to select the new draft law will take place this Saturday through Sunday. The constitution must be drafted within nine months, and must be extended only once every three additional months, before it can be approved or rejected by a mandatory vote in 2022.
“Voting is about respecting democracy and making our society prosperous.”Conservative Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on his Twitter account before slipping into his ballot. Of the 1,373 candidates, 155 were elected on the basis of equality and 14 million Chileans are invited to the polls on Saturday and Sunday. Seventeen seats will be allocated to the 10 indigenous peoples of Chile. It is the first time in the world that men and women elect a constitutional legislature on an equal basis.
The old constitution that benefits the privileged
Last October, 78% of voters voted in favor of constitutional change. This demand calls for a more egalitarian society from the massive social movement launched at the end of 2019. According to opinion polls, more than 60% of the Chilean population believes that the Constitution has created a system that benefits a small number of privileged people.
The change in the current basic law, which severely restricts the activity of the state and promotes private activity in all sectors, including education, health and pensions, removes an essential obstacle to deep social reforms in one of the most unequal. Countries in Latin America.
Towards a second political change?
Predictions about the structure of the political forces that will form the Constituent Assembly are dangerous, but the difficulty in getting independent candidates to identify themselves should favor the traditional parties. “There are a lot of new variables in the game: it’s an epidemic, an unprecedented election with an equality system, reserved seats and a list of independents. It’s all new. So it’s very difficult to make predictions, we do not know how many people will vote.”, Notes Claudio Fuentes, scholar at the School of Political Science at the University of Diego Portals.
«Le Chili a Chance of making his second (political) changeIt would have taken three decades if the party system had a very strong trend. ” Traditionally, he believes in Marcelo Mella, a political scientist at the University of Santiago.
Voters are also expected to hold municipal elections and regional governors’ elections this weekend. This latest poll is unprecedented in the country. Chile is one of the few countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that does not select regional officials.