Saturday, February 4, 2023

Associated Press explains: the importance of Chile’s constitutional settlement

SANTIAGO ( Associated Press) – Three months after Chile rejected a new constitution, a cross-border political settlement opens the door to a second proposal for a Magna Carta that aims to replace the one inherited from the military dictatorship from 1973 to 1990 .

In this new effort, 14 parties from across the political arc established that a group of experts would prepare a draft that would serve as the basis for the drafting of a new constitution.

The Associated Press then explains the main points of the agreement.

What is a settlement?

The so-called Agreement for Chile, signed by 14 parties, established that a Constitutional Council composed entirely of elected members would draft a new constitutional proposal, to be based on a preliminary draft prepared by a group of experts appointed by Congress. needed.

The council shall be equal and its members shall consist of representatives of indigenous peoples whose number shall be in proportion to the votes obtained in the election of councillors.

What are the principles underlying the new proposal?

The agreement established 12 grounds that experts and consultants must adhere to. Among them the Chilean state is unitary and decentralized, social and democratic of rights and the recognition of the original indigenous peoples as part of the Chilean nation.

It states that the country has three distinct and independent powers—executive, legislative and judiciary—, autonomous bodies such as the central bank, public ministries and comptroller offices, that the country recognizes and protects fundamental rights. to life and property and to the subordination of the armed forces to the civil power.

What work will the Constitutional Council do?

The Council will be co-opted and its 50 members will be democratically elected in a mandatory participatory referendum in April 2023, to which Indigenous representatives will be added. His task would be to draw up a new Magna Carta within five months. Every regulation included in the motion must be approved by three-fifths of its members.

What role will experts play?

The 24-member expert commission will be composed of people with “disputable professional, technical and academic trajectories”, appointed in equal parts by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. You will not be paid for your work.

Parties shall elect experts in proportion to their number of MPs, approved by four sevenths of each chamber: at least 89 of the 155 votes of the deputies and 29 of the 50 senators.

Their task will be to draft a constitutional draft that respects the 12 institutional foundations that will serve as the basis for the preparation of the final text to be prepared by the Constitutional Council.

What are the key dates established in the agreement?

The expert commission will start its work in January 2023. In April, 50 drafters of the Constitutional Council will be selected, whose work will be between May and October.

The constitutional project will be submitted to a compulsory participatory referendum scheduled for 26 November. Ideally, the new constitution would be promulgated in December.

What are the main differences from the previous constitutional process?

The first constitutional process began in November 2019 following a social uprising a month earlier and ended in September with the rejection of a project drawn up by a left-wing conference.

The initiative established unprecedented rights for indigenous peoples, including regional autonomy, recognized their judicial system, which he placed on the same level as the national system, and established the right to abortion without naming them. These were some of the articles that caused 62% of voters to vote against the proposal.

Nation World News Desk
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