In Chile, a referendum on the new Constitution

In Chile, a referendum on the new Constitution

In Chile, a referendum on the new Constitution

Opponents of the new Chilean Constitution at the campaign closing rally in Santiago, September 1, 2022.

The assembly, about a hundred people, sings the Chilean hymn in the conference room of a hotel in Santiago, Thursday 1uh September. “Not this”they proclaim their yellow shirts, like their caps, their flags and their surgical masks, which reflect the name of their group, Amarillos por Chile (“The yellow for Chile”), launched in February, to campaign against the new fundamental law which on Sunday 4 September will be subjected to a historic referendum.

Fifteen million Chileans and Chileans in this country of nineteen million inhabitants are called to the polls.

Read also: Constitution in Chile: the final draft presented to the president, referendum in September

“I want another Constitution, but not this one, which divides us. It’s too important a topic, it’s where everything begins and everything ends “., said Ricardo Quezada, 64, at the end of the election event in Amarillos por Chile, which defines itself as a group of center and center-left citizens. Their stance illustrates what it’s like a slow turnaround nationwide: how the majority of Chileans now, according to all polls, are preparing to vote “Rechazo” (“I reject” the proposal, this is the case of 53.5% of the interviewees, according to the electoral institute Pulso Ciudadano), after having pronounced themselves in favor of the drafting of a new Constitution, during a referendum, in October 2020.

At the time almost 80% of the voters had decided and expressed the desire to bury the Constitution inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) and considered illegitimate. If it has been reformed on several occasions, this Constitution has been accused of underpinning inequalities of all kinds., denounced in the square during the vast and unprecedented social uprising of 2019. The way was then opened for a profound rewriting of the fundamental text, under the pen of 154 elected officials, including a majority of independents, composing a joint assembly, clearly for the left.

Read also: Article reserved for our members “In Chile, if the new Constitution prevailed, the institutional link with the Pinochet dictatorship would be completely broken”

For a year, the new text discussed tried to promote a model change announced in the first article: “Chile is a social and democratic state based on the rule of law. It is multi-national, intercultural, regional and ecological. “ Among the cardinal principles that run through it are the introduction of social rights, the recognition of indigenous peoples (12.8% of Chileans), equality, a revision of the political and judicial system. Access to voluntary termination of pregnancy is guaranteed.

“Unbalanced Powers”

For part of the opinion, did it go too far? “I am super in agreement with social rights. But not with the powers that are given to the natives. If they have that many, then there is no more equalitysays Marcela Retamal, a 35-year-old worker from Amarillos por Chile. The powers are off balance, the room [dite « des régions », en remplacement du Sénat] should not be adds Ricardo Quezada.

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