You are currently viewing Chile: the Constituent Assembly voted to replace the Senate with a Chamber of the Regions

The plenary session of the Constitutional Convention voted in favor of the creation of a regional Chamber that will replace the Chilean Senate, although they were unable to agree on the powers of the new legislative body. The constituents also approved a proposal that allows the immediate presidential re-election Y lower the minimum age required to be president to 30 years. The new articles will go to the draft of the Magna Carta that will be submitted to plebiscite on September 4.

Chamber of the Regions

The drafting process of the new Chilean Constitution reached one of its crucial points with the approval of the elimination of the Senate. Article 9 states that “The Chamber of the Regions is a deliberative, parity and multinational body of regional representation, responsible for concurring in the formation of regional agreement laws and for exercising the other powers entrusted by this Constitution.” “Its members will be called regional representatives,” adds the text approved this week.

The article obtained 104 votes in favor, 42 against and six abstentions.. In this sense, the new legislative body will continue to be bicameral. Nevertheless, the plenary did not reach a consensus on some indications of the article referring to the composition and attributions of the new body therefore, they will be debated again in the Political System, Government, Legislative Power and Electoral System Commission.

Article 28 bis that regulated the functions of the Congress of Deputies and Deputies was rejected by the plenary, so it will return to the hands of the respective commission and, later, it will have a second attempt in the chamber. This central article detailed the powers of the Chamber of the Regions and established that the new body will only serve as a body for reviewing projects of law but what it cannot substantially modify what was previously decided in the Chamber of Deputies. In addition, contrary to the functions of the current Senate, the Chamber of the Regions can only rule on specific matters.

bicameral or unicameral

According to the portal Clinic, the approval of the article that defined the attributions of the Chamber of Regions was one vote away from being approved. However, the socialist Patricio Fernández voted against and argued that the new chamber should have more powers “such as the ratification in the appointment of authorities and participate in the process of constitutional accusations,” the local media said.

Another of the rejected texts was the article 10 that refers to the number of regional representatives was rejected.
“The law will determine the number of regional representatives to be elected and elected by region, which must be the same for each one and in no case less than three, ensuring that the final composition of the body respects the principle of parity”, specifies the text rejected with 70 votes in favor, 71 against and nine abstentions. The The proposal presented envisaged that the Chamber of the Regions would have fewer powers than the current Chilean Senate which together with the Chamber of Deputies have symmetrical powers.

The draft of the new legislative body was adopted as a midpoint to advance in discussions between the constituents who want to maintain the bicameral system and the unicameralists who seek to maintain only the Chamber of Deputies.

For the constituent of the Broad Front, Constanza Schonhaut, article 9 would speed up the legislative processes in favor of the Chilean population. “We are drawing the new political system: With an asymmetric bicameral legislative power. Thus, we leave the Senate behind and give way to a Chamber of the Regions to improve representation of regions, streamline the legislative process and respond to citizen demands, ”she wrote on her Twitter account.

immediate re-election

On the other hand, the constituents voted in favor of allowing whoever holds the presidency of the republic to opt for immediate re-election after completing four years of his term, a measure in force in Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, and Venezuela.

In this sense, article 45 of the report indicates that “the President will last four years in the exercise of his functions, after which he may be re-elected, immediately or later, only once.” The section had 114 votes in favor, six against and 24 abstentions and will become part of the draft of the new Magna Carta. It is expected that in September the exit plebiscite will be held where Chileans must ratify or the proposal for the new Constitution drafted by the Convention.

Presidency under-35

In addition, article 40, which reduces the age necessary to exercise the first magistracy, was approved with 104 votes in favor, 24 against, and 20 abstentions. “To be elected President or President of the Republic, it is required to have Chilean nationality, be a citizen or citizen with the right to vote and have reached thirty years of age,” states the text of the rule.

“Likewise, they must have effective residence in the national territory for the four years prior to the election. This requirement will not be required when the absence from the country is due to the fact that she or he, his or her spouse or civil partner is carrying out a diplomatic mission, working in organizations or there are other circumstances that reasonably justify it. Such circumstances must be qualified by the electoral tribunals, “adds the text.


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