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HomeWorldChile votes tomorrow for a new Constitution

Chile votes tomorrow for a new Constitution

Compulsory vote. 32 years have passed since Allende's triumph

Tomorrow, Sunday, the 52nd anniversary of the triumph of the first progressive government in Chile, when President Salvador Allende was elected in 1970, who was later overthrown and assassinated on September 11, 1973, more than 15 million Chileans are obligatorily summoned to vote in the plebiscite to approve or reject the text of a new fundamental charter of that nation, which was drawn up by the so-called Constitutional Convention (national constituent assembly) that emerged from the massive and tragic anti-government protests that shook that southern country in 2019.

To win the "approval", the new Constitution; of about 400 articles, will repeal that of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1980. It is worth noting that it was Pinochet who led the coup that bombed La Moneda, assassinating Allende on September 11, 1973, which will be 49 years old next Sunday. .

Unlike the 1980 text, the current one is in the hands of the electorate two months ago and was prepared by the deputies elected by Chileans.

New text

Of the main reforms, which would disrupt the neoliberal model imposed by Pinochet, it stands out that it would no longer be the private sector that annexes Education, Health and the savings of Chilean pensioners and retirees.

The pension fund administrators that manage the contributions would lose their power and, as they denounced during the social outbreak of 2019, reinvest in the same private sector under the pretext of strengthening Education and Health, setting up a vicious circle that violates the right to Chileans to quality of life.

The new text would displace the current subsidiary State, that is, the Chilean State would operate the resources for the population to exercise their rights, protected from the public powers of that country.

It also presents a plurinational State, since in Chile the ancestral peoples and indigenous nations are not recognized; fundamental germ of the old violence against the Mapuche people.

The text also advances in the environmental aspect; being that in Chile the fundamental resource of water is totally privatized and private individuals manage rivers, lakes, underground tributaries or aqueducts, and despite their vital importance, the shares of these companies are traded on the stock market. There are not a few complaints about the impunity with which agricultural companies divert river currents in favor of their crops against medium and small farmers in the countryside that sustain local economies. Another topic is, for example, the work of those who care for the elderly and patients with chronic diseases, whose work is currently not recognized.

logistical challenge

Tomorrow's plebiscite is the first mandatory electoral process in decades and, for those who do not vote, it foresees fines that can reach 3 tax units or 180.000 Chilean pesos; about 500 dollars. In the country, 15.076.690 people were enabled.

In previous processes, skirmishes used by those who seek the failure of the consultations is, as happened in the elections to elect the Constitutional Convention, that public transport; 100% in private hands, does not provide adequate service, which would complicate the process because 70% of the register was reassigned to other electoral centers and the Government of Gabriel Borich promised plans to guarantee mobility to voters.

The street contradicted polls

The social outbreak of 2019 that promoted the constituent process with the election of the Constitutional Convention and tomorrow the vote to approve or not the text prepared by that entity, began what seems to be an important chapter of 32 years of transition from the dictatorship; formally ended by another plebiscite in 1990 that removed Pinochet from power to democracy.

In this context, the fiercest battle was the polls that gave the "rejection" as the winner, however, the closing of the campaign on Thursday showed another panorama with half a million people supporting the "approval" on Alameda Avenue in the capital. , against a "symbolic act" at the Pablo Neruda Amphitheater with only about 500 people.

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