Uncertainty grows in Chile before constitutional plebiscite


SANTIAGO (AP) — Two weeks after a historic plebiscite in Chile, uncertainty is growing about the political course if a new constitution is rejected and the one imposed by the military 41 years ago remains in force.

Chileans will decide on September 4 whether to approve a new Magna Carta drawn up by a leftist Constitutional Convention that proposes a social and democratic State or maintain that of the dictatorship from 1973 to 1990, which established a subsidiary State with a free market model.

Coincident polls indicate that the rejection of the proposed new text, promoted by the right-wing opposition, would win.

Claudia Heiss, head of the Political Science course at the Faculty of Government at the University of Chile, told The Associated Press that a victory for the “Approval” of the new Magna Carta “gives more certainty” while if the “Rejection” wins ” the space will be opened “to more acute social conflicts” and the right would maintain the veto power that for decades has allowed it to reject the changes.

The opposition has said that if it wins in the referendum, it is willing to introduce at least a dozen reforms to the current Magna Carta that include more social rights and change the current subsidiary state for a social and democratic state of law.

But at the moment there is no single position in the sector on how the current constitution would be reformed: some speak of initiating a new constitutional process and others say that the changes should be processed in Congress.

Jorge Gómez, of the right-wing Fundación Para el Progreso, told the AP that the proposed constitution “is viewed with mistrust and several of the issues it proposes, such as plurinationality (which grants rights to indigenous peoples) are not as relevant for citizens. ”.

President Gabriel Boric reiterated on Friday to the journalists accompanying him on a tour of southern cities that the constitutional process “surely” will continue after the plebiscite and it is necessary to decide whether to continue with reforms to the approved text or “if there are to make a new constituent process”.

The president declared in mid-July that if he wins the “Rejection” it will have to be discussed “everything again, from scratch.”

The ruling party signed an agreement eight days ago in which it promised to introduce several changes to the new constitution if the “Approval” wins with the purpose of capturing votes from the center-left that went to the “Rejection” due to their disagreement with several articles, including the multinationality.

Friday is the last day that Chileans will be able to learn about the various polls on the plebiscite because a law has been in force since Saturday that prohibits broadcasting them from 15 days before the election.

A Black & White poll released on Friday indicated that the “Rejection” would win by 58% while other consultants revealed that the difference between the two options is between five and 10 points, always against the new text.

The Chilean constitutional process was born after a social revolt in 2019 that led to a plebiscite in which 78% of voters said they wanted a new constitution.




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