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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Chilean Congress approves reform that allows a new constituent process

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On behalf of the Government, the Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency, Ana Lya Uriarte, was present, who described the approval of the reform as a “triumph of democracy.”

“We are all inspired by a deep democratic conviction and that means that majorities prevail, as in this case, in which there is an overwhelming majority, transversal from the ideological and political partisan point of view, and there is a minority, which must be respected, but that this is a minority and the vote shows it”, added the minister.

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In this way, the “Agreement for Chile” reached by parliamentarians from almost all sectors on December 12 is ready to become law and thus allow a new mechanism to draft a Constitution that can put an end to the magna carta drafted during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) and that is still in force.

This new constituent process began to take shape after the overwhelming rejection of last September 4, when 61% of Chileans decided not to approve the constitutional text that the Constituent Convention had written, created after the social outbreak of October 2019.

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At that time, millions of people marched through the streets of Santiago and other cities with citizen and social justice demands, which had the Constitution as the main focus of the protests.

The new process contemplates an Expert Commission that will be established on March 6, with 24 people appointed by Congress, which will be in charge of writing a draft with the 12 constitutional bases of the “Agreement for Chile” signed by the political parties with representation parliamentary session on December 12.

Then, the bill will be debated and voted on by a Constitutional Council, which will be made up of 50 people plus seats for councilors of indigenous peoples according to the percentage of voting in the election that will be held on May 7 with mandatory voting.

In parallel, a Technical Admissibility Committee will function, with 14 members appointed by Congress, which will ensure compliance with 12 institutional bases that go from the fact that Chile is a Republic to the fact that the autonomy of the Central Bank must be respected.

All these bodies will be joint, but unlike the previous constituent process, the participation of indigenous peoples will be limited to the Constitutional Council and only if their candidates achieve a vote equivalent to 1.5% of the vote of the national register.

According to the calendar, the project of the new Constitution must be delivered on October 21, 2023, so that citizens can vote “for” or “against” in a mandatory exit plebiscite that will be held on December 17.

Source: Ambito

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