US News Towards a new Constitution? Chileans vote by referendum

08:50  25 october  2020
08:50  25 october  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

Scotland's future "within the EU"

 Scotland's future In the Brexit referendum in 2016, a narrow majority of UK citizens voted in favor of leaving the EU. The Scots voted against it with 62 percent. © David Cliff / NurPhoto / picture-alliance An independent Scotland? British Prime Minister Johnson says: No! At the beginning of September the Scottish government announced that it wanted to launch a new independence referendum.

After fierce protests, Chile 's referendum Sunday will decide whether the country should replace its "Writing a new constitution is an act of atonement," Navia said. "Since Chileans couldn't put Creating a new constitution was espoused by the first leftist leaders after the fall of the military

The referendum is generally regarded as the most important vote in Chile since the end of the right-wing military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet Chileans will not just be deciding on a new constitution — at the same time, they will be determining the structure of the committee that would

  Vers une nouvelle Constitution? Les Chiliens votent par référendum © Provided by Le Point

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

Making 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 more just society.

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?”.

Chile: demonstration in Santiago for the first anniversary of the social uprising

 Chile: demonstration in Santiago for the first anniversary of the social uprising © Claudio Reyes, AFP. Protesters gathered in downtown Santiago, Chile, on Sunday to commemorate the anniversary of the uprising that has rocked the country for a year. Protesters began to gather Sunday in Chile to commemorate the anniversary of the social uprising that has rocked the country for a year. It's an anniversary day for Chile.

A new constitution was a key demand of demonstrators engaged in unprecedented social protests that broke out in October last year over inequality and elitism. A cross-party referendum deal emerged from the protests in December. Those opposed to a new constitution argue it represents a "leap into

On 25 October, Chileans will vote in a referendum on rewriting the country's constitution , something that was one of the central demands of protesters last year.

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

The polling stations will be open from 8 a.m. local (11 a.m. GMT) to 8 p.m., two hours longer than usual to avoid crowds due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chile crossed the 500,000 mark on Saturday (13,000 deaths), but the contagion curve has now stabilized.

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 in America Latin.

"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.

Catalonia: ex-police chief Josep Lluís Trapero acquitted of allegations of rioting

 Catalonia: ex-police chief Josep Lluís Trapero acquitted of allegations of rioting Three years after the independence referendum in 2017, the then Catalan police chief Trapero was acquitted. He and other defendants had been threatened with up to 15 years in prison. © Paul White / AP Former Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero has been acquitted of allegations of rioting and the formation of a criminal organization. The indictment was in connection with the independence referendum of 2017.

If Chile opts for a new constitution , this constituent assembly is slated for election in April 2021. Its members would then have a year to draw up the document in which so many Chileans are investing so much hope. While the protests for social justice and a new constitution were partially interrupted by

Chileans will be voting on whether to change a dictatorship-era constitution seen as One hopes for a "legitimate" constitution , the other believes Chile 's problems can be resolved without a new one "Before wanting to change the constitution , we must first solve problems through the law," by voting

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 hanging over 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.

Chile: the Constitution of Pinochet may be living its last days

 Chile: the Constitution of Pinochet may be living its last days © RODRIGO GARRIDO During a feminist demonstration in favor of a new Constitution in Valparaiso, on October 14th. The "yes" to a new Constitution is given overwhelmingly a winner in the polls leading up to Sunday's poll, the largest since the end of the dictatorship in 1990. As confinement was lifted from the month of 'August, protests gradually resumed in Santiago .

The Chilean President, Sebastian Pinera has enacted a law enabling a referendum on a new constitution to be held in late April. Also on the programme: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed a "huge win" in a vote that challenged his leadership of the Likud party.

A constitutional referendum was held in Chile on 30 July 1989. The proposed changes to the constitution were approved by 87,7% of voters. If approved, 54 constitutional reforms were to be implemented, among which the reform of the way that the Constitution itself could be reformed

"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.

Consequence of the pandemic and coincidence of the calendar: initially scheduled for April 26, the ballot was postponed to October 25.

It will therefore take place one year to the day after the historic gathering in Plaza Italia, in the center of Santiago, when 1.2 million people gathered at the epicenter of the demonstrations, marking a turning point in the protest.

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 streets: 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".

25/10/2020 05:05:20 - Santiago de Chile (AFP) - © 2020 AFP

Between coronavirus and referendum, the strange start to school in Algeria .
After eight months of interruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, six million Algerian schoolchildren started their school year on Wednesday, October 21. To not miss anything on African news, subscribe to the "World Africa" ​​newsletter from this link. Every Saturday at 6 am, find a week of current events and debates treated by the editorial staff of "World Africa". © Supplied by Le Monde During the start of the school year in a class of a school in Algiers, October 21, 2020.

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