Chileans have voted against a new, progressive constitution that had been drafted to replace the 1980 document written under Gen Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship.
In 2020, an initial plebiscite saw nearly 80% of voters opt to draft a new constitution, but after an arduous year of negotiations, people appear to have expressed their dissatisfaction with the end product.
The proposed constitution included a long list of social rights and guarantees that had appeared to respond to the demands of that vast social movement.
It enshrined gender parity across government and other organs of the state – for the first time anywhere in the world – prioritised environmental protection and recognised Chile’s Indigenous peoples for the first time in the country’s history.
The proposed constitution included new measures such as :
Women would make up at least 50% of the officials and office-holders in all state agencies and institutions.
Chile would take on the character of a “multinational and intercultural state,” where Indigenous peoples would be regarded as nations occupying autonomous regions.
The state, rather than private entities, would assume primary funding responsibility for education, healthcare, low-income housing, and pensions.
The proposed constitution recognized the “free exercise of sexual and reproductive rights.” It limited penalization of abortion.
The document prioritized ecological sustainability and especially water rights.
Formation of a Congress of Deputies for passing laws and a Chamber of the Regions for dealing with legislation agreed upon at the local level. The National Congress, with its Chamber of Deputies and Senate, would disappear.
No longer would there be high quorum requirements for passing legislation.
President Gabriel Boric, whose government is largely tied to the new text, said cabinet changes were coming and the government would work to draft another constitution.
"We have to listen to the voice of the people. Not just today, but the last intense years we've lived through," Boric said. "That anger is latent, and we can't ignore it."
Center-left and right wing parties that promoted the reject campaign, have also agreed to negotiate to prepare a new text.
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