Over 62 percent of voters in Chile have rejected a proposed change to the nation’s Constitution written under the authoritarian regime of Augusto Pinochet, who reportedly ruled the country with iron fist between 1973 and 1990.
According to the Electoral Service of Chile, 62 percent of voters rejected the proposed change to the constitution while 38 percent voted in favour during the referendum.
It was gathered that the existing constitution in Chile was written originally in 1980 under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and since then, the constitution was amended several times; but it was always questioned because it was imposed during a dictatorship.
Then Chile President, Sebastien Piñera initiated the proposed change in 2020 with a referendum on creating a new constitution amid social turmoil and popular discontent sparked by a metro fare increase in October 2019.
CNN report on the outcome of the Chile referendum reads thus:
“The proposed constitution, which had the support of leftist President Gabriel Boric, included 388 articles that would have significantly extended social rights, increased environmental regulation and given the government wider responsibility for social welfare programs.
“It also would have provided full gender parity and added designated seats for indigenous representatives.
“The document was rejected in all of Chile’s provinces, including the more progressive capital of Santiago and its metropolitan area, where voters had overwhelmingly supported Boric last December during the presidential election.
“Boric responded to the defeat in a live televised address to the nation after the close of polling on Sunday.
“Today the people of Chile have spoken, and they have done so loudly and clearly,” Boric said.
“They have given us two messages. The first one is that they love and value their democracy … The second one is that the people of Chile was not satisfied with the proposed constitution and, therefore, has decided to reject in a clear way at the polls.”
“Images from Santiago on Sunday show a sombre mood among supporters of the constitution, while others celebrated the news it had been voted down”.