The decade-old constitution in Chile is to be reformed. The people voted for it. The referendum was also seen as a vote on the current government’s policy.
In Chile, tens of thousands of people in the capital, Santiago, celebrated the decision to adopt a new constitution with fireworks and chants. On Sunday, according to preliminary results, more than three quarters (78 percent) of the electorate voted in favor of replacing the constitution from the time of the dictator Augusto Pinochet with a new one. The referendum was triggered by massive and often violent social protests in the past year against the backdrop of a tense economic situation.
Signs of distrust of politicians in Chile
In the referendum, the Chileans voted for the formation of a constituent assembly of 155 members, half of which should be made up of men and women. They rejected the proposal to involve parliamentarians in the formation of the new constitution – a sign of the deep distrust of politicians in Chile. The committee is to be elected in April. It then has a year to draft a constitution. Then the people must vote on it.
Many voters associate the new constitution with the hope that barriers in the form of more rights in health care, pensions and education will be imposed on the comparatively unbridled capitalism practiced in Chile. A reform of the privatized water supply is also one of the wishes. This currently means that some small farmers have more difficult access to the resource. In addition, the minority of the indigenous Mapuche should be recognized.