Elections in Chile: what was voted in the recent elections in the southern country?

This last weekend, May 15 and 16, the elections in Chile. A process that housed a total of almost 17,000 candidates and that due to the diversity of positions for which it was elected, was baptized as “mega-elections.” In these elections, the 155 representatives who will draft the new Constitution were elected, as well as mayors, councilors and governors.

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It was a vote – which was initially going to be held in April, but was postponed due to the pandemic – it was carried out this weekend in an unprecedented way in two days, as it sought to decongest the polling stations and encourage citizen participation without higher risks.

The measures were evaluated “positively”By the Electoral Service (Servel). “This opens the door to other two-day voting and opens the possibility of early voting, which also has the problem of the custody of ballot boxes.”, Said Andrés Tagle, president of Servel.

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However, the influx of voters did not reach half of the electoral roll, less than 6.5 million people, despite being one of the most important votes in the 31 years of democracy in the country, in which the composition was chosen of the body that will draft the new Magna Carta, the first to emanate from a democratic process in the entire history of Chile. This Monday, the Servel reported that only 43.3% attended the polls, a figure below what the experts expected.

With the celebration of the elections, Chile It is one step closer to having a new Constitution, a text that will be drawn up by a convention that will be dominated by independent citizens and the opposition from the center and left. This result contradicts all forecasts, where the candidacies of independent citizens were the big winners, obtaining 48 of the 155 seats.

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The right, on the other hand, did not obtain even a third of the seats (37), the percentage that would give it the power to influence the discussion and veto articles, so it remains hands tied before the majorities that can reach on certain topics the constituents of the left-wing opposition (53 between the two lists they presented) and the independents.

This constituent assembly, the first joint assembly in the world and made up exclusively of elected members, will have up to one year to draft the new Magna Carta, the first to emerge from a fully democratic process in the history of the country.

In 200 years of independence, Chile has had three Constitutions (1833, 1925 and 1980) but none drafted by a citizen convention elected by popular vote.

The process will culminate in 2022 with an exit plebiscite and with a mandatory vote to finally approve or reject the new Magna Carta, which would replace the current one, inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) and repudiated for its dictatorial origin and for privatize basic services such as water or pensions.

THE MUNICIPAL AND REGIONAL ELECTIONS

Meanwhile, at the municipal level, the right also suffered a great defeat in which it achieved 88 mayoralties, a number much lower than the 145 obtained in 2016. The left prevailed in emblematic neighborhoods such as the urban center of Santiago, where the communist Irací Hassler ousted the right-wing candidate Felipe Alessandri, who was running for reelection.

The ruling party also lost the mayoralties of the tourist coastal cities of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, the latter in which the conservatives had ruled for almost 20 years and where a candidate from the Broad Front, a leftist bloc that emerged from the protests, prevailed. students of 2011 and that regained strength in the elections this weekend.

It should be noted that the vote for regional governors is carried out for the first time in history and is unknown, so much so that it will be accompanied by the introduction of the figure of the Government delegate, one for each region, who will be appointed by the Executive, as To date, two bills are still being processed in Parliament that address competences and limits of each position.

With information from EFE.

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