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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Chile - September 2022

Chileans reject new constitution

On 4 September a majority of Chileans rejected a new constitutional text that would have replaced the existing one that dates to the Pinochet dictatorship. With mandatory vote and 85.8 per cent participation, 61.9 per cent of voters rejected the new constitution, with just 38.1 per cent favouring its adoption.  Electors were seemingly unconvinced by profound modifications that would have impacted indigenous rights, the environment, pensions and education, among other issues. While the result had been foreseeable, the margin of defeat was unexpected, and taken as a poll on the performance of President Boric’s administration - so much so, that a reshuffling of his cabinet has already taken place, six months into his presidency. 

The new constitutional drafting process was triggered by social discontent and mass protests in 2019 against inequality associated with the legacy of the Pinochet regime and neoliberalism, thought to be enabled by the current constitution’s terms. After the referendum results, President Boric directed Congress to establish a new timetable for the drafting of a proposal that satisfies the majority of the population.

Sources: El Pais (1), El Pais (2), La Nacion, The Guardian, The New York Times

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