Udayavni Special

Why is Chile rewriting its constitution?

Team Udayavani, Oct 30, 2020, 1:09 PM IST

In Chile, an overwhelming majority have voted to rewrite the country’s Pinochet dictatorship-era constitution and tens of thousands poured into the streets to celebrate

According to BBC, Right-wing President Pinera agreed in November 2019 to hold the referendum after a month of huge and almost daily protests across Chile which saw more than a million people take to the streets in the capital, Santiago.

The referendum asked Chileans two questions, firstly, if they wanted a new constitution, and secondly, what kind of body they would want to draw it up.

78 percent of Chileans voted in a plebiscite to replace the current charter written by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the far-right autocrat who ruled from 1973 to 1990.

It was drafted during the rule of dictator and military leader Pinochet without any popular inputs. The charter was widely blamed for the inequities that exist in Chilean society even today.

As reported by Indian Express, Chileans also voted to elect an assembly of 155 members to draw up the new constitution. The body will not include any active lawmakers and will have a total of nine months, with the option of a one-time extension of three months, to finalise the new document.

The special convention would begin drafting a new constitution that would be submitted to voters in mid-2022.

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