Sports Chile prepares for historic vote on Constitution

10:40  25 october  2020
10:40  25 october  2020 Source:   france24.com

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Chile ’s 1980 constitution has been criticised since its inception as fatally compromised by its links to a dictatorship guilty of political murder, torture and For people of Hinrichs’ generation, the upcoming referendum evokes memories of another historic plebiscite, when Chile voted to end the dictatorship

Chile is a country used to earthquakes, but few expected the shake-up in Chilean society that we have seen this past year. In just 12 months, Chile went from being an "oasis of stability", as President Sebastián Piñera described it, to a country about to tear up its old constitution and re-write the rules.

Des opposants à la modification de la Constitution défilent à Vina del Mar au Chili le 22 octobre. © Rodrigo Garrido, reuters Opponents of the constitutional amendment march through Vina del Mar in Chile on October 22.

The Chileans vote Sunday by referendum, a year after the outbreak of an unprecedented social movement in the country. The 14 million voters called to the polls could decide to turn the page on the Constitution adopted under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

For or against a change of Constitution : Chileans vote Sunday, October 25 by referendum, one year after the outbreak of a social uprising of unprecedented magnitude which called into question the ultra-liberal economic model accused to benefit only the richest.

One year after the massive protests: Chile in turmoil again

 One year after the massive protests: Chile in turmoil again On Sunday the country will decide to abolish the Pinochet Constitution - but the elites will not give up their influence without a fight. © Photo: imago images / Aton Chile Violence and chaos. During protests before the vote, masked people set fire to two churches in Santiago. The flames blaze brightly in Santiago's night sky: two churches burn at the end of a symbolic day. Tens of thousands had previously demonstrated peacefully and creatively.

After fierce protests, Chile 's referendum Sunday will decide whether the country should replace its dictatorship-era 18, 2020, as the country prepares for a landmark constitutional referendum. But others say writing a new constitution may not be the best way to solve Chile 's problems which are

What is the vote on ? Chile ’s current constitution was approved in a controversial referendum in 1980, the height of a right-wing dictatorship responsible for thousands of deaths and defined by violence and political impunity. Those demanding a new constitution say the fact that the current document was

Make a clean sweep of the Constitution inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) was one of the demands of the demonstrators who took to the streets from October 18, 2019 to demand a society more just.

The 14 million voters called to vote on Sunday will have to answer two questions: "Do you want a new Constitution?" and “Which body will have to draft the new Constitution?”.

They will be able to choose between a "Constitutional mixed convention" made up of elected citizens and parliamentarians, and a "Constituent convention" made up solely of citizens.

Social reforms

For the supporters of "Apruebo" (I approve), mainly in the opposition of the center and the left, a new Constitution would remove an essential obstacle to deep social reforms, in one of the most unequal countries from Latin America.

The Chileans are in favor of a change of Constitution

 The Chileans are in favor of a change of Constitution © Provided by Le Point chili, constitution It is a turning point in the democratic history of Chile. Sunday, October 25, the Chileans voted with a very strong majority in favor of a new Constitution to replace that inherited from the Pinochet era, during a referendum organized a year after a massive popular uprising against social inequalities . According to partial results covering 69.81% of polling stations, the votes in favor of a new Constitution were largely in the lead, with 78.01% of the

A year after the start of months of social unrest, Chileans vote Sunday in a referendum to change a dictatorship-era constitution seen outside the presidential palace on Thursday. © Martin BERNETTI People rally in Santiago in support of amending Chile 's constitution ahead of Sunday's referendum.

Chilean lawmakers have voted to postpone a much-anticipated referendum on a new constitution as safety concerns around the coronavirus outbreak take precedence over politics. 'The constitution of the dictatorship has died': Chile agrees deal on reform vote .

"The current Constitution favors the neoliberal system at an extreme level, it has perpetuated a totally unequal system", estimates Ernesto Quintana, a 38-year-old psychologist.

The defenders of the "Rechazo" (I reject), who bring together the most conservative parties, believe that it is possible to introduce changes in the fundamental text, which they believe have guaranteed the stability of Chile in recent decades, without having need to replace it.

"I want peace and for that I vote against", we can read on the walls of the capital Santiago, in reference to the violence, looting and degradation which have regularly punctuated the demonstrations since the beginning of the crisis.

According to the latest polls, the "Apruebo" would win with a score between 60 and 75% of the vote, but the pandemic leaves some uncertainty about participation.

Original sin

Until that date, no attempt to replace the fundamental text had succeeded: the Constitution had been drafted in 1980 so that the conservative fringes of society could remain in power, even after the end of the dictatorship.

Historic day in Chile: very large victory of the "yes" to a new Constitution

 Historic day in Chile: very large victory of the © MARTIN BERNETTI A strong majority of Chileans approved on Sunday the idea of ​​replacing the Constitution inherited from the Pinochet era. A result that should shelve the neoliberal system in place after years of protest. A year ago to the day, 1.2 million people took to the streets of Chile to demonstrate against social inequalities after a 30 pesos (0.03 euro) increase in the price of public transport in Santiago.

New Constitution for Chile was an electoral coalition of the Equality Party and the Green Ecologist Party founded to jointly contest the 2013 general election in Chile . It was created on August 3, 2013 and registered officially with the Electoral Service on August 19.

Chile 's market-oriented economy, with its relatively well-diversified and well-regulated financial system, is generally regarded Portales, who became the de facto ruler of Chile , also wrote Chile ’s first long-lasting constitution . The Portales constitution established a strong central government dominated

"The first objective of this constitutional process is to come out of the shadow of the Pinochet dictatorship (...), in order to have a new Constitution without the original sin of having been drawn up under duress", explained to AFP Marcelo Mella, political scientist from the University of Santiago.

The second objective, he adds, is "to be able to solve by political and peaceful means the problems which have become structural and which paralyze the functioning of Chilean democracy", such as inequality and exclusion.

An unprecedented social movement

The poll will take place one year to the day after the historic gathering in Plaza Italia, in the heart of Santiago, when 1.2 million people gathered at the epicenter of the demonstrations, marking a turning into contestation.

Until the outbreak of the crisis, Chile was praised as one of the most stable in Latin America, praised for its good macroeconomic results.

Conservative President Sebastian Piñera, one of Chile's richest men, even called his country an "oasis" in the region, a few days before the start of the social rebellion.

Triggered by an increase in the metro ticket in Santiago, the crisis was fueled by the anger of the population provoked by the disconnection of the elites in the face of the difficult daily life of the greatest number, and caught the entire political class by surprise. .

Neither the right in power, nor the center and the left in the opposition, have succeeded in recovering the anger of the street: the calls for rallies during the referendum campaign for one or the other camp n hardly drained more than a few hundred people.

On Wednesday, President Piñera called on Chileans to vote massively and thus hopes for "national reconciliation".

With AFP

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