Saturday, January 28, 2023

Chile: Tense political talks for a new constitution

SANTIAGO ( Associated Press) — The road to a new constitution in Chile is initially hampered by a lack of cohesion among supportive pro-government coalitions. With two weeks to go before the deadline, the election of the 50 men to draft the new Magna Carta is stuck in political negotiations.

The presidential pardon on December 30 of 12 convicted of general crimes related to the 2019 protests – as well as one convicted of bank robbery – became a turning point in the political stability of President Gabriel Boric’s government. The decision marked a 10-point drop in approval in 15 days, according to weekly pollster Cadme, and split the ruling party.

“This is the most complicated situation for President Boric in his 10 months in power,” Marcelo Mella, a political analyst and academic at the University of Santiago de Chile, told The Associated Press. He added that “President Boric’s leadership is in question in his two coalitions” due to his high disapproval, which this week stood at 67% according to Cadum.

The left-wing coalition I Appro Dignity – closest to the president – ​​supported the pardons, but the centre-left Socialismo Democratico condemned that they were issued at a time when the country was facing a rise in crime, along with the opposition. were getting into position. The right-wing opposition group backed out of that agreement.

Since then, and with the expiration of the Constituent Assembly, Borić has been unable to persuade the two pro-government blocs to come together and face the opposition in a second attempt to complete the new Magna Carta.

Robert Funk, an academic at the University of Chile’s school of government, told the Associated Press that the two coalitions are difficult to manage because of the ideological diversity between them and because “the figure of the president has been weakened.” Apart from this, different regions in both the blocks are thinking about the future and how they are going to position themselves in the future elections.

He added that in addition to the problem of pardons, it is likely that high inflation and insecurity “will lead many people to vote for the opposition in the election of constitutional drafters.”

Registration for the 50 drafters of the future constitution ends on February 6. The I Approve Dignity coalition wants the ruling party to run on the same list as it affirms that going separate would reduce seats for both coalitions, while excluding the Socialist Party from Democratic Socialism – to “broaden the electoral base” of Borik. Promotes two lists for . ,

Socialist Party President Paulina Vodanovic insisted they wanted a very comprehensive list. “If this is not achieved, it will not be because of the Socialist Party’s lack of will.” Juan Ignacio Latorre, leader of one of the approved Dignity parties, agreed Tuesday that “being fragmented is a political error.”

The four opposition parties will compete on a single list. However, they also face the dilemma of whether or not to add the conservative Republican Party as it favors the validity of the current constitution.

Chileans will vote on 7 May to elect 50 drafters of the new constitutional project and on 17 December to approve or reject a second proposal in a mandatory participatory referendum.

This will be the second time the Magna Carta, imposed four decades earlier by the military dictatorship from 1973 to 1990, has been replaced. The first attempt, the result of the 2019 protest days, failed last September after 62% of voters rejected the text. Written by the Left Dominant Conference.

Nation World News Desk
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