Chile will decide this December 17 whether or not to approve the draft Constitution prepared by the Constituent Councila political process with a striking aroma of “déjà vu”: if in September 2022 61 percent of voters rejected the constitutional proposal for being too far to the left, the risk this time is that the text will also be rejected, but for leaning too far to the right.
“Chile faces a key moment to define its future,” said President Gabriel Boric during a solemn ceremony this Tuesday in which a plebiscite was called to seek to define whether the fifth largest economy in Latin America will be given a new constitutional text that replaces the one sanctioned in 1980 during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).
“In the event that the proposal is approved, there is no doubt that as a government we will comply with your correct implementation and installation and we will take charge accordingly, together with the other State bodies, of the process of legal reforms that will be required,” added the young president, the furthest to the left since Salvador Allende in the early ’70s.
Boric’s is a great political paradox: the leader of the Frente Amplio, a diverse left-wing coalition that won the 2021 electionswas driven to the La Moneda Palace by the reformist desires of Chileans after the social explosion of October 2019. Once there, Boric found that the constitutional process made the progress of his government difficult, a situation that worsened when the proposal of the first Constituent Convention was rejected in 2022.
Willing to do things better, chastened by a Convention and a text that had gone too far, the Chilean political powers proposed a different scheme: a group of notables to give an initial framework to the draft Constitution, so that the text was reasonable. But the clear victory of the right and the extreme right in the elections for the Council he destroyed the idea of a consensus and a fair middle ground.