An intense day had the Constitutional Convention on Tuesday. “We want to communicate our joy at this great step we took, all sectors together, we have advanced by approving the basic rules that we have given ourselves in the first instance,” said the president of the constituent body, Elisa Loncon, after the day where approval was given in general of the regulatory proposals of the transitory commissions, and also the plenary session decided to vote by simple majority the rules of the regulation, including article 94 that establishes the quorum of two thirds for the approval of the constitutional norms.
The Convention approved the proposals of the general regulations, Ethics, Indigenous Participation and Consultation, Popular Participation and Territorial Equity, and the Bases, principles and norms of Human Rights. In addition, the indications of Vamos por Chile regarding the constitutional norms that they wanted to approve with a quorum of 2/3 were rejected. Therefore, these norms will be voted by a simple majority of the constituents (50% +1, that is, 78 conventional).
“We advanced in everything that is the definition of the simple quorums that were voted and that myth of the 2/3 also fell, that in reality none of that has trapped the work of our Constitutional Convention,” Loncon said.
For his part, the vice president of the Convention, Jaime Bassa, said that “today has been a very happy and successful day, because all the work that has been done from August onwards, in the provisional commissions that raised parliamentary proposals, today it has been ratified and approved by the plenary session of the Constitutional Convention with truly overwhelming majorities. Far above the quorums that have generated so much controversy these days ”.
“During the month of August, they met the deadline established for all commissions to combine their regulatory proposals on August 28. That deadline was met and the regulatory proposals were effectively combined ”on that date. He added that “this allowed all the proposals that come from the commissions to be approved today.”
This “shows how the constituent is advancing steadily, we have managed to claim that power that the constituent has to organize itself, to set its own rules, and look to the future,” concluded Bassa.
Now, a period of 48 hours is opened to present indications for the discussion in particular, which will be recorded next week and where again the issue of two-thirds will be on the forefront. Each amendment must be sponsored by 30 constituents.
The constituents expressed different positions regarding the decisions taken today, including the conventional ones who want to remove two thirds, which basically belong to the Communist Party, the original peoples, the Social Movements and the Constituent People (former List of the People), who valued that the subject is put on the table and is settled by the plenary session.
Marcos Barraza (PC) highlighted that “an important step has been taken regarding the sovereignty that the Convention must have over the norms”, but that “the quorum of 2/3 is improper, that it has done much damage to democracy in Chile, which has prevented substantive transformations and it is necessary to agree on what is the majority quorum for the approval of the constitutional norms ”.
Along the same lines, Bárbara Sepúlveda (PC) described today’s voting “as a triumph.” “For the first time we have given a very strong signal that this is indeed a sovereign constituent space, where the original constituent power resides and we are going to discuss the different positions to see which quorum is that we sovereignly have to grant ourselves,” he said.
- See the explanation of Bárbara Sepúlveda
On the other hand, the conventionalists of the center-left sector, such as the Broad Front and Non-Neutral Independents, have demonstrated in favor of the 2/3 in the case of voting on the constituent norms. From Non-Neutral Independents, Gaspar Domínguez, depicted the situation like this: “That next week an absolute majority (78 votes) may decide to” ratify “Art. 94 = quorum of 2/3. Forecast: The most probable thing is that next week it will be democratically ratified by the convention that the constitutional norms will be voted with a 2/3 quorum ”.
Jennifer Mella, independent FA, stressed that what is sought with the quorum of 2/3 is that the constitutional norms “be legitimized by a large majority of the Plenary Assembly, giving them greater stability over time”, in addition to allowing them to take advantage of ” the opportunity to build an overwhelming transformative political majority ”.
“A majority that guarantees approval in the exit plebiscite and that allows the new constitution to be the pillar of a new Chile, which represents women, the PPOO, the dissidents, the workers and all the people. We cannot miss this opportunity ”, concluded the representative of the Coquimbo Region.
Meanwhile, Fernando Atria (FA), highlighted that “today the quorum with which the regulations were voted in general and in particular was voted, the decision adopted by the Convention was that the regulations were approved by majority, with more than 2/3 of the votes. Article 133 of the Constitution provides that 2/3 are enforceable for the constitutional norms and their voting regulations. If you see the regulations, there are no voting regulations. regulations by absolute majority, and the rule that requires 2/3 for constitutional norms remains in place ”, he concluded.
The discomfort on the right
However, on the right, there was discomfort with the result of the vote, adverse for their sector, and they put pressure in the face of the vote in particular next week.
For the UDI Eduardo Cretton, “today confirms that there is a group, led by the PC, that does not believe in this process and therefore seeks to eliminate the 2/3. Next week we are risking the legitimacy of the Constitutional Convention. Let’s hope that the majority are about to respect the rules ”.
Arturo Zúñiga, UDI district 9, pointed out that “although the quorum was modified so that two-thirds are very likely to be approved, there is a sector of the left that does not believe in this process, does not want a new Constitution.”
“They are breaking the rules, censoring through a Taliban regulation, endorsing liars and violent people. We cannot lose this historic opportunity to make this home for everyone, let us not disappoint the hope that citizens have, “he said.
- See Arturo Zúñiga’s reaction
Meanwhile, Harry Jurgensen wrote on Twitter that “many Conventionals announced respect for the Constitution and made speeches in favor of the 2/3 quorum, but at the time of voting they succumb to the pressure of ultra-left ideologies and forget their convictions.”