Chile kicks off a decisive stage to rewrite a text that aims to bury the country’s Pinochet dictatorship-era constitution
This Wednesday Chile takes an important step in drafting a new constitution to replace the one inherited from the Pinochet dictatorship. The 51 members of the Constitutional Council have been entrusted with creating a constitution that fulfills the aspirations of all Chileans. It’s the second attempt after the September 2022 rejection of a proposed constitutional draft in a national referendum. With the stakes so high, a new constitution must be crafted with utmost precision and care to effectively address the needs of the people.
The members of the Constitutional Council were elected in late May to produce a refined version based on a preliminary draft prepared by a group of experts. The Council has approximately three months to complete its mission. The Republican Party, representing the far-right, holds 23 Council seats. Next is the ruling Unity for Chile party with 16 members, and the various traditional right-wing parties won 11 seats. There is a single representative for Chile’s indigenous peoples.
Last Sunday, President Gabriel Boric, who had stayed in the margins of the second process after the first one failed, confirmed that he would approve the Council’s draft, and promised that he would make no further attempts at changing the constitution if the Chilean people reject it in the December referendum. The president will convene the inaugural Council session in the National Congress building in Santiago. He was also present on June 5 at the election tribunal’s certification of the vote to elect the Council members.
Ten key people have emerged as potential protagonists of the Council because of the number of votes they garnered, their political ambitions, and their representation of specific communities.
Source : El Pais