February 24, 2024

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The new constitution was rejected by referendum

The new constitution was rejected by referendum

A firm backlash to the new constitution in Chile. On Sunday, August 17, more than 15 million voters were called to the polls for the second time in a year to replace the Basic Law that has been in place since Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. According to the partial results released by the Electoral Service (Serval), after 76.52% of the votes were counted, “against” won with 55.54% of the votes, while it got 44.55% of the votes.

The text submitted to the referendum, more conservative than the current constitution, was written by defenders of the legacy of General Pinochet, after the rejection, in September 2022, of the first progressive proposal supported by young leftist President Gabriel Boric. . The latter, 37, recently promised that the new consultation would be a last-ditch effort to reform the constitution.

Polls, which were closed for two weeks, predicted a majority rejection of the new text, despite a large number of undecideds.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers Chile is entering the midst of drafting a new constitution

Satisfy the social movement of 2019

The revision of the Pinochet-era (1973-1990) constitution, considered an obstacle to any fundamental social reform, was enacted to appease the 2019 social movement against inequality, which killed around thirty people. A year later, 80% of Chileans approved the creation of a new constitution.

After the first proposal was rejected, Mr. Boric suffered a new setback in May, when the ultra-conservative right came first in a vote to elect the members who will make up the Constitutional Council responsible for drafting the new basic law.

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read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers With Beatriz Hevea, Chile’s far-right gets new life

“Today, we are experiencing a new civic day which, beyond any conclusion, strengthens our democracy”President Boric made the announcement after voting in his hometown of Punta Arenas (3,000 km south of Santiago). “ChiliWelcomed by the Head of State. Problems proved a strength that we shouldn’t take for granted (…) institutionalized and resolved amicably”.

The Republican Party (far right) has seduced voters with its uncompromising rhetoric against insecurity, mainly related to Venezuelan immigration. The opposition voted on Sunday to vote on President Boric, who was elected at age 35 in a wave of discontent to become Chile’s youngest leader in history at the end of 2021, but whose popularity is now waning.

Cool enthusiasm

The proposed new constitution reinforced the conservative nature of the current text, which dates back to 1980, particularly on issues such as abortion and public safety. Abortion was completely banned in Chile until 2017, when a law recognized it, but declared it impossible if the mother’s life was in danger, rape, or the fetus. Current Constitution “To save the unborn”But the rejected text went further, making the fetus a person, making it more difficult to justify abortion.

On the other hand, the new text recognized indigenous peoples for the first time, a long-standing aspiration of indigenous peoples, mainly the Mapuche, who represent about 12% of the population, but did not respond to their demand for greater autonomy.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers In Chile, the draft constitution calls into question the right to abortion

Enthusiasm for the new constitution has been dampened by the pandemic, inflation and a growing sense of insecurity and fatigue among the people. “There is an atmosphere of disillusionment, little interest, little motivation and exhaustion on the constitutional issue”As political scientist Claudia Hayes of the University of Chile points out. “People want more basic things: they want security, public order, more police on the streets.”she insists.

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The world with AFP