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Chile: Riots over drafting of new constitution

Chile: Riots over drafting of new constitution

The drafting of the new constitution in Chile began on Sunday, with much fanfare. The inaugural session of the Constituent Assembly in Santiago de Chile had to be suspended due to protests, announced Carmen Gloria Valladares, representative of the court in charge of elections. “We want a celebration of democracy, not issues, so we will suspend the session.”

Protesters clashed with police during protests in front of the former parliament building. Some of the 155 members of the legislature took to the streets to demand the withdrawal of special centers from the city center.

The clashes erupted after marches organized by independent, left-wing and tribal groups met with heavily armed police officers guarding the front lines of the convention venue.

Vale Miranda, a 20-year-old constitutional representative, wrote on Twitter that security forces were preventing protesters from marching. “Now they attacked us, they parted my lip!” Said. “Let the whole world know that there is no democracy in Chile.”

The historical system will draft a new constitution in the new months. The abolition of the previous constitution has been one of the central demands of mass protests since October 2019. In a historic referendum in October 2020, more than three-quarters of South American voters voted for the new constitution.

The current constitution dates from the 1980s to the time of the dictator Augusto Pinochet (1973-90). Many Chileans are responsible for the deep gap between rich and poor. The new constitution must be prepared within nine months, and can be extended by a maximum of three months. It will be put to a vote in 2022.

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In May, 155 delegates were elected from more than 1,300 candidates. Independent candidates received about 40 percent of the vote. Traditional political parties, on the other hand, failed. 17 seats are reserved for representatives of the tribal people. This group also has equal representation – that is, as many men as women are represented.

The new constitution requires a two-thirds majority in the constituency legislature before a referendum can be held. None of the traditional political parties have the required majority for the veto.


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