Chile holds elections to define the councilors who will prepare the new proposed Constitution

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A total of 2,932 voting centers opened this Sunday in Chile to start the second constituent elections in two years, in which more than 15.1 million citizens will choose the 50 councilors who will draft a new Magna Carta proposal.

There will be 25 men and 25 women who will make up the new Constitutional Council that will draft the next constitutional proposal, which will be voted on in a plebiscite on December 17, explained Dr. Daniel Zovatto, regional director of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (Idea), in an information card shared with Aristegui News.

Surveys show that the majority of Chileans they feel disinterested in this new stage of the constituent processwhich is far from the fervor of the social outbreak that led to the deterioration of the government of Sebastián Piñera in favor of the current president Gabriel Boric, who "promoted in 2021 one of the most progressive constitutions in the world" which was rejected by a large majority in the constitutional plebiscite September 2022, Zovatto explained.

On September 4 of last year, 62% of Chileans rejected in a plebiscite the first proposed constitutional text.

Electoral fatigue -since the 2019 protests, Chile has held seven elections-, the failure of the previous process and the unprecedented security crisis that the country is going through explain, according to experts, disaffection towards these elections.

Photo: EFE

Although it is difficult to make forecasts due to the great apathy and because voting is compulsory -unlike two years ago-, there is a consensus that the correlation of forces will be very different from the previous constitutional conventiondominated by the left.

Voting centers will be open until 6:00 p.m. local time (8:00 p.m. in central Mexico) and it is expected that the first results are a couple of hours later.

The ruling party comes divided to these elections and He competes with two different lists: one made up of the Socialist Party and the most left wing of the Government (Broad Front and Communist Party), and another made up of the ruling center-left parties plus the Christian Democracy, which is not properly the opposition but is not a member of the Government either.

The right also arrives divided into three lists: the traditional one from Chile Vamos (UDI, RN and Evópoli), the far-right of the Republican Party and the populist of the People's Party.

One of the keys to the day lies in the seats obtained by these last two formations, which did not participate in the elections two years ago because they were recently created and have risen a lot in the polls, despite defending the current Magna Carta, in force since the dictatorship (1973-1990).

Photo: EFE

If the three rights get 30 seats or more, will have absolute control of the constituent body and they will be able to approve the rules without the need to negotiate.

The great novelty of this second attempt to renew the Constitution is the participation of a group of 24 experts appointed by Parliament, whose mission is to prepare a draft that will serve as a basis for the 50 directors (25 men and 25 women) elected at the polls.

Another peculiarity is the existence of 12 basic agreed principles a priori by the parties to avoid a refoundational proposal like the previous one, which include the declaration of Chile as a "social and democratic State of law", the indivisibility of the "Chilean nation" or the bicameral system.

Boric: "We have a historic opportunity to reconcile"

The Chilean President, Gabriel Boric said that the country has "a historic opportunity to reconcile" and that he hopes that people vote "informed" and "without fear" in the constituent elections this Sunday.

“As a country, we have a historic opportunity to reconcile, after the fractures that we have experienced, and move towards a developed and inclusive country, where no one is left behind”, said Boric, after casting the vote in his native Punta Arenas, in the extreme south.

The ruler, who will now travel to Santiago to follow the voting process from the La Moneda palace, assured that both the Government and the political parties that support it they will respect "to the letter" the results of these constituent electionsthe second in two years.

"Whatever the result, the election of the new directors configures a breakthrough for the country, where we have been able to reach an agreement to give continuity to a process that has not been easy”, he added.

(With information from EFE and Aristegui News)

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