Historic day in Chile: great victory for the "Approve" of a new Constitution
The great majority of Chileans yesterday approved the change of the Constitution inherited from Augusto Pinochet; dictator between 1973 and 1990. He was voted in a plebiscite held a year after a massive popular uprising against social inequalities.
A year ago, 1.2 million people took to the streets of Chile to demonstrate against social inequalities. On Sunday, more than 14 million voters were called to the most important vote since the end of the dictatorship in 1990. More than 50% of them participated in a context of pandemic, the highest participation since voluntary voting was established in 2012.
The plebiscite, organized by the right-wing coalition in power since 2017, posed a first question: "Do you want a new Constitution?" According to results, the "Approve" won with 78.28% of the votes, compared to 21.72% of the "rejection".
Chileans were also asked to specify what type of assembly will be in charge of drafting the new text: a mixed convention (half of which are already in operation) or a constituent convention, only made up of citizens chosen especially for the occasion. This last option obtained the majority of votes.
After the news was announced, the president and businessman Sebastián Piñera called in a televised speech to the "unity" of the country. "Until now, the Constitution has divided us. From now on, we must all work together to make the new Constitution a space of unity, stability and future," he said. Once drafted, the draft Constitution will be submitted to a new plebiscite in 2022.
Thousands of Chileans took to the streets to celebrate their victory, especially in the capital, Santiago, in Plaza Italia, the epicenter of last years demonstrations, renamed the "place of dignity" since then.