Caracas, September 4, 2022 (OrinocoTribune.com)—This Sunday, Chileans were faced with the task of either approving or rejecting the new constitution drafted, after almost 80% of them demanded it in late 2020 with the popular rebellion that shook the South American nation, which some consider an island of prosperity. The early results reflect a wide victory for those against the new draft, with 61.9% rejecting it and 38.1% approving it, having 98.43% of the votes counted in the preliminary stage.
Telesur reported that electoral authorities indicated that 15,076,690 citizens were qualified to cast their vote in the Chilean territory, while 97,239 were summoned abroad. In detail, with 99.46% of the tables counted, the rejection option obtained 7,876,142 votes (61.87%) and the approval obtained 4,853,901 (38.13%). At the same time, the blank and null votes reached 77,231 and 200,567 respectively.
Actualizo. DATO oficial: GANA RECHAZO. pic.twitter.com/7zp3dpzCRQ
— Patricia Villegas Marin (@pvillegas_tlSUR) September 5, 2022
Approve anEFd reject were the two options given at the polls in Chile to decide on the new constitution. Approving would have meant abandoning the 1980 constitution born under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, and having a new political pact that reads in its first article: “Chile is a social and democratic constitutional state. It is multinational, intercultural, regional and ecological.” Rejecting it opens up a picture of uncertainty and is seen as a blow for both the uprising that began in 2019, and for Gabriel Boric’s government that many see as a fraud and thus have given him very low approval ratings.
This result brought an end to a democratic experiment that began as an attempt to unify a country in crisis. In 2019, Chile’s streets erupted in protest, powered by working and middle-class people struggling with high prices and low wages. In a society long held up as a symbol of prosperity in the region, thousands of Chileans poured out their anger on a government they felt had abandoned them. The ruling class accepted a solution to ease the unrest presented by the leaders of the uprising, including Boric: They pledged to write a new constitution, replacing the current version written under the brutal military regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. The following year, Chileans overwhelmingly voted in favor of drafting a new Magna Carta, reported the Washington Post.
The proposal would have granted certain civil rights like: Gender equality, environmental protections, Indigenous and LGBTQ rights and legal access to abortion, as well as access to high-quality education, healthcare and water. It would have also granted rights to nature and animals and demanded government action to address climate change as well as requiring gender parity across government and public-private companies.
Voting centers reported long lines all over the country and high turnout as Chileans took part in the mandatory vote, which experts say adds uncertainty to polls, which have consistently showed a greater chance of rejection than support.
According to Argentinian journalist Marco Teruggi, the polls marked a victory for those rejecting the constitution. This negative forecast for the new text began in April, according to, for example, the Cadem pollster. From there, rejection was always above approval with a difference of nine points (46% to 37%) in data collected from August 17 to 19. In the case of Pulso Ciudadano, rejection prevails with 45.8% vs. 32.9%, and for Panel Ciudadano the difference is 49% vs. 39%. An average difference of ten points in what would be a significant defeat for the constitution written over a year ago by the Constitutional Convention.
No ganó la Constitución de Pinochet. La derecha ya no la defiende públicamente, no hay consenso para eso, por eso plantea redactar otro texto nuevo. Perdió sí la propuesta de la Convención Constituyente, un golpe también para el Gobierno que viene con baja aprobación.
— Marco Teruggi (@Marco_Teruggi) September 5, 2022
The journalist wrote a tweet this Sunday stating that, “Pinochet’s constitution did not win. Far-right sectors do not defend it publicly, there is no consensus for it, that is why they are talking about drafting a new proposal. It is a loss for the Constituent Convention proposal indeed, and a blow to the government with low approval ratings.”
Sociologist Aníbal Garzón wrote something in the same vein on his Twitter account: “It seems that in Chile the rejection of approval will prevail. The next essential question is: ‘Is the rejection of the draft of the new constitution itself, or is it rather a rejection of the moderate and decaffeinated government of Boric?'”
Parece ser que en Chile se impondrá el Rechazó al Apruebo. La siguiente pregunta esencial es: "¿El rechazo en si es al texto de la Nueva Constitución o es más bien un rechazo al gobierno moderado y descafeinado de Boric? 🤔
— Aníbal Garzón (@AnibalGarzon) September 4, 2022
According to Reuters, President Gabriel Boric’s office confirmed Sunday night that he had called a meeting with political parties on Monday. Boric vowed to govern with unity after he voted in the southern city of Punta Arenas early on Sunday. “In the difficult times we had as a country we took the path of resolving our differences and moving forward towards greater democracy,” Boric told reporters after voting.
No matter the outcome, Boric said the government will work with all sectors to “advance in justice, equality, growth and development for everyone.” The Chilean president will have to overcome the great divide he has built as president over the last few months, between his promises and alleged left leaning goals and the reality Chileans see on the street. For now, many experts foresee a government readjustment and a change of ministers in the coming days.
Orinoco Tribune special by staff
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/December 10, 2023
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/December 9, 2023