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Majority of Voters in Chile Reject Radical Change to the Constitution

In a referendum held in October 2020, about 80% of Chileans decided in favour of changing the outdated constitution

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

CHILE. Santiago: Nearly 62% of respondents to a referendum rejected the progressive plan. Compared to what polls had predicted, the defeat margin is substantially wider.

President Gabriel Boric of Chile, who had approved the new constitution, said he would collaborate with Congress and civil society to develop a “new constitutional process.”

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He asserted, “We have to heed to the voice of the people who were dissatisfied with the constitutional convention’s proposition.

He promised to keep trying to come up with a plan that “fills us with confidence and unites us all.”

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After widespread protests rocked Chile, which is typically seen as a haven of stability in the region, revising the country’s constitution from the time of military control began three years ago.

In a referendum held in October 2020, about 80% of Chileans decided in favour of changing the outdated constitution.

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However, many people found the new constitution, created by a constitutional convention whose members were chosen by voters, to be excessively radical.

  • Chile chooses independents to draught a new constitution.
  • Celebration following Chile’s approval to amend its constitution. 

The rights of Chile’s indigenous populations, who make up around 13% of the population, to their lands and resources would have been recognised, making Chile a “plurinational” state.

Numerous Chilean institutions would have also been altered by the now-rejected draught, such as the Senate, which would have been replaced with a Chamber of Regions.

It also included essential requests by women’s organisations, like the right to an abortion and a legal requirement that women hold at least 50% of positions in public institutions.

The massive rejection of the new constitution, with 61.9% voting against it and 38.1% in favour, is a slap in the face for President Boric, even if surveys had expected a “no” vote.

After the widespread demonstrations, the 36-year-old leader was installed in office, and his young, left-wing administration had pledged to reform Chile’s institutions.

But now that he is almost halfway through his term as president and the constitution he supported was soundly defeated, he is anticipated to reshuffle his cabinet and replace some of the more conservative members with those with more political experience.

To celebrate the constitution’s demise, some citizens took to the streets of Santiago.

Photo Credit: Twitter

With the help of a “text that will include the lessons of the process and win over a broad majority of residents,” according to President Boric, he would now like to complete his task.

Nevertheless, it is not yet known how the draught will be redrawn or how long it would take to create a new text.

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