The Chileans say no to the new Constitution – Liberation

The Chileans say no to the new Constitution – Liberation

The Chileans say no to the new Constitution – Liberation

The result of a political process born from the popular uprising of 2019, the draft of the new Constitution, intended to replace the one inherited from the Pinochet dictatorship, was rejected by 62% of Chileans. A vote that puts a brake on aspirations for a more united society.

This Sunday, the day of the perhaps historic constitutional plebiscite, Chile has had to change time. In order not to interrupt the compulsory voting, the government had decided to postpone the measure for a week. In addition, countless citizens flocked to polling stations at dawn to escape the announced heat of the afternoon. In Macul, in the southeast of Santiago, thousands of voters waited in front of the Estadio Monumental, the enclosure of the Colo-Colo football team, in the heat of the morning. “It is so exciting to vote for a new constitution that represents the demands we made during thesocial stable of 2019. Our generation has raised immense hope for change and we must bring it to fruition “, he still wanted to believe Gabriela, 19, a history student in the capital, who was voting for the second time in her life, after last year’s presidential election. As the day progressed, the litany of results from Chileans abroad agreed: 70% in favorApril (“Approval”) for 30,000 voters.

The first warning shot came from Punta Arenas, at the southern end of the country, birthplace of Gabriel Boric, the President of the Republic in office since March in favor of the referendum. With the difference of one hour with the North, the count of the first seats gave the rechazo (“refusal”) in the head. An omen that foreshadows the rest of the evening. Ninety minutes after the close of the ballot, at 6 pm, the outcome was no longer in doubt. The “no” has largely prevailed with almost twenty points to spare (62% at the time of writing these lines).

The uncertainty of tomorrow

From 8 pm, the supporters of the rechazo, who had abandoned the road in the field opposite during the campaign, invaded the arteries of the metropolises all over the country in Concepción, Temuco or Puerto Montt to celebrate their indisputable victory. In Santiago, near Providencia, in the east of the city, Arturo, 51, a bookseller, parades with his children carrying Chilean flags in the middle of a wind concert. “It is Chile that we love. United, with its differences and that does not break anything. Aware that the Constitution must be changed, but not at any cost.

Two days earlier, Nicola, 34, director, activistApril, expressed his doubts a Publication: “If this referendum were a non-binding vote, the ‘yes’ would have more chances. L’ April it has a cause, a capacity for mobilization, a raison d’etre. The voter of rechazo, it is motivated by fear, by the uncertainty of tomorrow and the end of the month, not by the wonder of a new cycle. In some ways he is less mobilized, which does not mean he will not vote.

After the riots of 2019, the October 2020 vote in favor of a constituent process (78% yes) and the election of Boric as head of the country last December, the camp of the rechazo picked up the colors. «From Arica to Magallanes [du Nord au Sud, ndlr]the people spoke “, boasting in front of the microphones Ximena Rincón, Christian Democrat activist and former president of the Senate. “therechazo clearly prevailed. The Chileans, no doubt, want a new Constitution, but they want one that affects us all . “

Inexperience of the ministers

The polls, suspended for fifteen days, still showed 15% undecided and ten points in favor of “no” two weeks ago. Those who abstained from last year’s presidential elections (53% in the first round; 44% in the second) clearly chose their side, even if throughout the territoryApril got 200,000 more votes than the head of state, Gabriel Boric. “I voted white, defends Carolina, 26, a hairdresser near a polling station in the center of the capital. This so-called new Constitution will not change anything in my life. What worries me? At the end of the month, how will I get there and meet my daughter’s needs … “

As soon as the results were known, Gabriel Boric addressed his compatriots from La Moneda, the seat of the presidency, and gave a speech for the occasion. “I am committed to doing everything in my power to build a new constitutional process. I urge all political forces to place Chile before any partisan consideration and reach an agreement as soon as possible ”. In a few days he will reorganize his administration accordingly. This Monday afternoon he will receive the main organizations of the country to agree on the procedure to be followed, except for thesocial flag and the radical left, who were the initiators of the constituent process.

Reviews are already raining. To his right, where it is believed that the inexperience of his ministers ends up becoming problematic. “Some members of the government are from the student movement of 2011. They quickly became MPs before ending up with a portfolio. Their inexperience ends up being seen on the highest peak in the state “, supports Ernesto Ottone, doctor of political science and center-left craftsman rechazo. A former student leader, Gabriel Boric, has been featured in the US business press in recent weeks, and even the Washington Post, as a leader of the far left. Which is exaggerated to say the least. “This score is a resounding slap in the face and we must do our self-criticism, confided a figure of the radical left who does not want to be named. Did we work hard for it? We take our share of responsibility but Boric has not fulfilled the commitments for which he was elected. He has denied the reality, submitting to the media held by the right and continues to pledge the powerful.For the Chilean head of state the troubles have just begun …

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