October 2, 2022

Chileans will decide whether to adopt or reject the constitution in a nationwide referendum on September 4.

After receiving a copy of the draft document, Borek said: “I know, and all Chile understands that this was not easy. This means, dear citizens, that democracy is not easy.”

“No matter what legitimate differences there may exist regarding the content of the text and which will be discussed in the coming months, there is something that all Chileans should be proud of – and it is at the moment of the deepest political, institutional and social crisis that our country has experienced in decades, that Chileans have chosen more democracy and not Less than that “.

The proposed constitution represents a departure from the country’s current constitution, which was written under the influence of University of Chicago Milton Friedman’s neoliberal model. Despite many adjustments, the majority of Chileans blame it for the country’s stark inequality.

The proposed new constitution emphasizes social and environmental factors, enshrines the rights of Chile’s indigenous peoples and envisions a new national health care system.

How to write a new constitution for divided and unequal Chile

The potential replacement of the constitution inherited from the late General Augusto Pinochet, the dictator who ruled the country from 1973 to 1990, was triggered by a metro fare increase three years ago.

Mass protests and riots across the country in the fall of 2019 forced then-President Sebastian Pinera to agree to a referendum to rewrite the constitution.

In October 2020, more than 78% of Chilean voters approved the constitutional change, and in June 2021 they voted again to select the members of the Constituent Assembly.

Leftist Gabriel Borek, 35, wins Chile's presidential election

The center-left and right-wing coalitions that have shared power since the return of democracy in 1990 both took a hit, taking only 16% and 24% of seats in parliament, respectively.

By contrast, independents and newcomers from left-wing political parties and social movements enjoyed an hour of glory, garnering 60% of the vote.

The country is now preparing for a vote on the constitution they drafted, which could bring about wide-ranging changes to Chilean society.

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