Drafting of Chile’s Constitution – Recent developments

The Chile’s constitutional assembly, that has been tasked to draft a new constitution, elected a new president on January 5, 2022.

Highlights

  • After nine rounds of voting, members of the constitutional assembly elected epidemiologist Maria Elisa Quinteros as President.
  • She will replace the body’s inaugural president Elisa Loncon.
  • This change was provided for in the texts of 155-member body, elected in 2021 for drafting the text to replace Chile’s previous Magna Carta.
  • Quinteros received 78 votes needed to replace Loncon in the post.
  • Her victory was welcomed by Chile’s newly elected next president, Gabriel Boric.

Drafting new constitution

The constitutional assembly has been given nine months, with a possible three-month extension, for drafting the new constitution. After this, it must go to a referendum, which will be set up by Boric’s government, which is due to take office on March 11, 2022.

Boric’s Government

President-elect of Chile is Gabriel Boric. He is a 35-year-old former student movement leader. He was elected in December 2021. He defeated far-right candidate Jose Antonio Kast by 11 percentage points. He will be Chile’s youngest president.

About new constitution

The new constitution is likely to bring major changes for the country. Environmental activists hoping the constitution will bring new protections while Indigenous leaders hoping that it will help in establishing a new relationship between their communities and the state.

Election to the President

Article 26 talks about the electoral requirements. President is elected by direct ballot, with the absolute majority of the votes validly cast. Two-round system is used to elect the President. In order to win the election, party of winning candidate must have got more than 50 percent of valid votes, in the first round. Election is held on third Sunday of November in the year immediately before the end of administration of the president.

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