The Chilean people are voting in the first 48 hours of elections this Sunday

The Chilean people are voting in the first 48 hours of elections this Sunday
Dante Devagnino (i), one of the victims at the hands of police during the protests that rocked Chile in October 2019, was recorded while voting in Santiago de Chile this Saturday. EFE / Alberto Waltz

More than 23,000 soldiers were detained and boxes were sealed and moved to locked rooms as more than three million Chileans voted in this historic constituency election on Saturday.

2,731 polling stations will open their doors on Sunday at 08:00 (12:00 GMT) local time, an unprecedented situation in Chilean history, holding elections in two days to avoid crowds.

“This room will have the security of military personnel, and after accreditation, there will be representatives of different parties and independent candidates, who will be able to observe at night that the process is transparent and that no one has anything to do with the referendum,” Interior Minister Rodrigo Delco explained this week.

An Assistant to the Representative of the Electoral Board and an official of the Electoral Service (CERVAL) will be present at the polling station and they will report any incident.

May 15, 2021 Electoral workers carry ballot boxes with ballots in Valparaராசso, Chile.  REUTERS / Rodrigo Carrido
May 15, 2021 Electoral workers carry ballot boxes with ballots in Valparaராசso, Chile. REUTERS / Rodrigo Carrido

These are the most important elections in Chile’s recent history, in which 15 million Chileans will elect 155 citizens, who will draft a new constitution to overthrow the current constitution from military dictatorship.

The conference will have 17 seats reserved for indigenous peoples, which will be the first of its kind in the world, making Chile the first country in a few months to have a Magna Carta written equally for men and women.

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Chile has a basic law drawn up by the first elected Citizens’ Conference in its 200 years of independence, since all three books so far have been written by organizations not elected by popular vote (1833, 1925 and 1980).

“There is no doubt that we are facing the most important historical process in the last 40 years, one that will mark the future for the next 40 years,” said Diego Paulson, official official of the Chamber of Deputies after the vote. South of the country.

20% participation on Saturday

Cervell said on the first polling day this Saturday 3,052,413 people voted, which is 20.4% of the voter list. In the metropolitan area, which is home to 8 of the country’s 19 million people, participation increased to 21.5%, while in the coastal region of Valparaiso it was 21.7%.

“Today the electoral process has been successfully developed and almost all ballot boxes and election materials are in the custody of the armed forces and carabiners, and there are proxies under the control of the citizens,” Daggle said.

Electoral workers and military personnel are waiting for votes to be saved at the end of election day during elections for governors, mayors, councilors and constituency members to draft a new constitution to change Chile's constitution.
Electoral workers and military personnel are waiting for votes to be saved at the end of election day during elections for governors, mayors, councilors and constituency members to draft a new constitution to change Chile’s constitution.

The repeal of the current constitution, the center of criticism for its authoritarian origins and neo-liberalism, was decided in a historic referendum last October, and was one of the main demands of the 2019 protests, which were the most intense since the military coup, killing about thirty and injuring thousands.

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Some polling stations, especially in Santiago, could not close at 6:00 pm because many were waiting in line because the laws prevent them from refusing to vote.

Simultaneously with the constituencies, more than 14.9 million voters will elect 354 mayors, 2,252 councilors and 16 regional governors, appointed by one administration so far, to contribute to the progress of the country’s decentralization.

Elections postponed in April due to the epidemic are being held over two days to avoid crowds, and by the time the epidemic has cleared and the vaccination process is progressing in most parts of the country, nearly 50% (15 million) of the target population has been vaccinated with two doses.

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Will Smith

About the Author: Will Smith

Alfred Lee covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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