×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - In Google Play
VIEW
×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - On the App Store
VIEW
Skip to main content
Tags: Chile new constitution referendum

Chileans to Vote on Conservative Constitution After Rejecting Leftist Charter

Chileans to Vote on Conservative Constitution After Rejecting Leftist Charter

Sunday, 17 December 2023 12:33 PM EST

Chileans voted Sunday on whether to approve a new constitution that will replace the country’s dictatorship-era charter.

The vote comes more than a year after Chileans resoundingly rejected a proposed constitution written by a left-leaning convention and one that many characterized as one of the world’s most progressive charters.

The new document, largely written by conservative councilors, is more conservative than the one it seeks to replace, because it would deepen free-market principles, reduce state intervention and might limit some women’s rights.

If the new charter is rejected, the Pinochet-era constitution — which was amended over the years —- will remain in effect. That is what ex-President Michelle Bachelet was apparently hoping for when she voted early Sunday.

“I prefer something bad to something worse,” said Bachelet, who has campaigned to reject the new constitution.

One of the most controversial articles in the proposed new draft says that “the law protects the life of the unborn,” with a slight change in wording from the current document that some have warned could make abortion fully illegal in the South American country. Chilean law currently allows the interruption of pregnancies for three reasons: rape, an unviable fetus and risk to the life of the mother.

Another article in the proposed document that has sparked controversy says prisoners who suffer a terminal illness and aren’t deemed to be a danger to society at large can be granted house arrest. Members of the left-wing opposition have said the measure could end up benefiting those who have been convicted of crimes against humanity during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

The new proposed document, which says Chile is a social and democratic state that “promotes the progressive development of social rights” through state and private institutions, is also being opposed by many local leaders who say it scraps tax on houses that are primary residences, a vital source of state revenue that is paid by the wealthiest.

It also would establish new law enforcement institutions and says irregular immigrants should be expelled “as soon as possible.”

César Campos, a 70-year-old taxi driver, turned out early to support the new constitution. He viewed it as a vote against the left, whose ideas largely dominated the first, rejected draft.

“(President Gabriel) Boric wants everybody to be equal,” Campos said. “Why should anyone who studies or works their entire life have to share that?”

The process to write a new constitution began after 2019 street protests, when thousands of people complained about inequality in one of Latin America’s most politically stable and economically strongest countries.

But in 2022, 62% of voters rejected the proposed constitution that would have characterized Chile as a plurinational state, established autonomous Indigenous territories and prioritized the environment and gender parity.

One of the most recent polls, by the local firm Cadem in late November, indicated 46% of those surveyed said they would vote against the new constitution, while 38% were in favor. The difference was much closer than three months ago when the “no” vote was 20 points ahead of the “yes” side.

In Santiago, the capital, talk before the vote often turned to security rather than the proposed charter. State statistics show an uptick in robberies and other violent crimes, a development that tends to benefit conservative forces.

There appeared to be little enthusiasm for Sunday’s vote. Most citizens are exhausted after 10 elections of various types in less than 2½ years, but voting is compulsory in Chile.

Malen Riveros, 19, a law student at the University of Chile, said the fervor that was ignited by the 2019 street protests has been lost and for her, the choice on Sunday was between the bad or the worse.

“The hopes were lost with the passing of time,” Riveros said. “People have already forgotten why we went into the streets.”

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Newsfront
Chileans voted Sunday on whether to approve a new constitution that will replace the country's dictatorship-era charter.The vote comes more than a year after Chileans resoundingly rejected a proposed constitution written by a left-leaning convention and one that many...
Chile new constitution referendum
636
2023-33-17
Sunday, 17 December 2023 12:33 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved