Chile’s constitutional rewrite rejected
Yesterday, Chilean voters overwhelmingly rejected the constitutional rewrite drafted by the country’s citizen-elected constitutional assembly. With 86% voter turnout, 62% voted to reject, compared to just 38% voting to approve. In 2020, 78% of voters had voted in favor of writing a new magna carta, albeit with 51% turnout. As a result of yesterday’s vote, the current, Pinochet-era constitution will remain in place. (Detailed statistics from the election are available at DecideChile)
The proposed text was widely viewed as among the most progressive constitutions in the world, with The New York Times noting that it “would have legalized abortion, mandated universal health care, required gender parity in government, given Indigenous groups greater autonomy, empowered labor unions, strengthened regulations on mining and granted rights to nature and animals.” Detractors, however, viewed the 388-article document as radical and utopian. According to The Washington Post, one key aspect of the proposed constitution rejected by voters was that it would have made the country a plurinational state, with “many of the concerns centered on a core issue of national identity.” Nearly 13% of Chile identifies as Indigenous.
But this is likely not the end of the story for Chile’s constitution. According to El País, recent polling shows that Chilean voters are still overwhelmingly in favor of change: just 17% of polling respondents favored rejecting the proposed rewrite and continuing with the current constitution, whereas 35% supported rejecting the proposed constitution but starting a new rewrite process. Furthermore, Reuters reports, ““Center-left and right wing parties that promoted the reject campaign have also agreed to negotiate to prepare a new text.” Last night, President Gabriel Boric accepted the plebiscite’s results “with humility” and said that “Chilean democracy comes out more robust,” calling for dialogue and the development of a new constitutional proposal that would better unite the country, says The Washington Post.
(DecideChile, The Washington Post, Reuters, The Guardian, The New York Times, El País)
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