Santiago, Chile, July 4. The president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, said on Monday that the country opted “for more democracy and not less” when beginning the drafting of a new Constitution and that the presentation of the final proposal “will remain in the annals of the country.”
“There is something that we all have to be proud of: that at the moment of the deepest political, institutional and social crisis that our country has experienced in decades, Chileans opt for more democracy and not less,” indicated the president.
In a historic ceremony, Boric received a copy of the text, which declares Chile a social state of law and consists of 178 pages, 388 articles and 54 transitory regulations.
Creating a universal health system, strengthening public education, protecting the environment and enlarging the rights of indigenous peoples are some of the main themes of the proposal.
Chile began the constitutional process as the political way to dismantle the wave of massive protests against inequality that began in 2019, the most serious since the end of the military dictatorship (1973-1990), with thirty deaths and thousands of injuries.
“Today is a day that will remain in the annals of the country (…) Today we begin a new stage: it is about reading, studying and debating the constitutional proposal,” said the president, who signed the decree that officially calls the plebiscite to ratify the constitutional proposal.
Chileans will have two months from today to study the text, which was drafted for a year by a body with seats reserved for indigenous people and gender parity, and decide on September 4 if they are satisfied with it or if they prefer to maintain the current Constitution, inherited from the regime and of a neoliberal nature.
Boric, who when he was a deputy in 2019 supported the constituent process from the beginning, asked the public to “debate intensely on the scope of the text, but not on falsehoods, distortions or catastrophic interpretations alien to reality.”
“The plebiscite is not and should not be a trial of the government. It is the debate on the future and destiny of Chile for the coming decades,” added the president.
Despite the fact that the option of approving the new text in the mandatory vote referendum was the majority for months, in recent times there has been no clear trend and some polls show a greater preference for rejecting it.
The Chilean right, which won less than two-thirds in the constitutional convention, will vote against the proposal, finding it “radical”, while the pro-government left is inclined to give it the green light. EFE