Parties agree on new constituent process in Chile, but opposition wants limits on the inclusion of issues

Eight days after the Chilean population rejected at the polls a proposal for a new Constitution for the country, representatives of local parties met this Monday (12) in Santiago and reached a series of agreements for a new constituent process, among them so that the body that writes the new text is equal and fully elected in the ballot boxes.

“I think there have been significant advances in the dialogue that took place this morning and that show the sense of responsibility with which is being assumed”, said the president of the Senate, the socialist Álvaro Elizalde, in a press conference.

“We are advancing firmly, slowly, but without a break, as we said, and we hope that before 18 September we will have good news”, added the president of the Chamber of Deputies, the social democrat Raúl Soto.

On the last day 4, the Chileans rejected by overwhelming 62% the text elaborated over a year by a progressive constituent convention.

However, the vast majority of the population agrees to convene a new constituent process and replace the current Constitution, inherited from the military dictatorship (1973-1990), but which has undergone changes since redemocratization. According to a survey by Cadem institute published this Monday, 100% of citizens agree that Chile should have a new Constitution.


Where there is less consensus is on the drafting body: while 48% support a mixed convention, composed of elected citizens and a committee of experts appointed by Congress, 48% favor a fully elected convention and 62 % in favor of Congress taking care of the writing alone.

In addition to the fact that the drafting body is “100% democratically elected”, the parties also agreed that there should be a committee of experts to support the process and that the new text be submitted to a referendum with mandatory voting.

Elizalde indicated that there are still “pending” issues, such as the electoral system, the form of independent participation and the vacancies reserved for indigenous peoples.

“We are very hopeful s with the result of today’s dialogue”, said Ana Lya Uriarte, Minister Secretary General of the Presidency, responsible for relations between Congress and the Executive.

“We do not intend to impose or guide, but we have great hopes in the process that is being developed and of course we reiterate what we say, we want our country to have a new Constitution that puts an end to the uncertainty of citizens”, added Uriarte, who was appointed last week to the post, in the first cabinet change promoted by President Gabriel Boric.

All parliamentary forces participated in the meeting, including the Republican Party, of the right, which is in favor of maintaining the current Constitution and carrying out some reforms.

For the most part, the opposition to the Boric government said it was favorable to a new constituent, but wants the guarantee that some themes (to be defined) are not modified by the new letter.

“They ratify os, we maintain our commitment to have a new Constitution written by a democratically elected body from the point of view of Chile Vamos [coalizão de partidos de centro e direita]. This body, unlike the convention [que redigiu o texto rejeitado nas urnas], has to have defined contours that allow the process to be successful”, said senator Javier Macaya, president of the conservative Independent Democratic Union party.

The also senator and president of the National Renewal, Francisco Chahuán, stated that in the referendum on the 4th, the Chilean people “rejected plurinationality [a carta rejeitada propunha tratamento jurídico diferenciado para cidadãos que se identificassem como nativos], rejected that the State does not has powers to guarantee public order, rejected that it does not have the power to face terrorism in Macrozone Sul [região onde ocorre o conflito com os mapuches]”.

“No if you can improvise, you cannot make the same mistakes that occurred during the convention. You can’t start from a blank page,” said Chahuán, who complained about the Boric government’s haste for a new constituent process.

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