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Determined Chilean voters intensely refuse the 2022 proposed constitution

Voters in Chile have refuted the presented leftist constitution

Chilean voters refused the latest leftist constitution on Sunday, capping off an almost two-year process striving to reflect a broader range of voices in the country's document.

According to the Chilean Voters Electoral Services, 65% of the voters refuted the proposal, and 38%  voted in favor. The proposed constitution, backed by the leftist President Gabriel Boric, incorporated 388 articles.

These articles would have significantly expanded social rights, giving the administration broader responsibility for social welfare programs and increased environmental regulation. In addition, it proposed to offer full gender parity and elected seats for indigenous representatives.

All of Chile’s provinces, including Santiago where voters had hugely supported Boric during the December elections, have refused to approve the document. Admitting to this defeat, Boric released a statement after the polls closed on Sunday.

Why was a new constitution proposed to Chilean vioters?

Chilean people on the street

The proposed change was introduced in 2020 when the president at that time, Sebastien Piñera, called for a referendum on drafting a fresh constitution during social unrest and discontent triggered by a metro fare spike in October 2019.

In October 2022, over 78% of voters accepted a referendum asking for a constitutional change, and Chilean voters voted once more in June 2021 to choose members for a constituent assembly. The Constitutional Assembly was the world’s first to include full gender parity. It was also the country’s first ever to have delegated seats for indigenous representatives.  

Chile’s population expected this progressive stance to reflect in the updated constitution. Moreover, this process received immense praise globally for offering an institutional solution to the social crisis. It was also applauded for responding to demands for an equal and inclusive democracy. This constitution would have been the most progressive one globally, offering comprehensive social rights. This draft emphasized environmental protection, water rights systems, gender equality, etc.

The rejection

After much thought, the revised’s constitution's final draft was presented to President Boric in July 2022. Although in October 2020, many Chilean voters were backing up this constitutional change, the proposed draft changed the circumstances.

Not long after the draft was released publicly, voters began expressing their disapproval.

The right claimed that the draught would push Chile too far to the left or that it was too striving and tricky to implement. Some of the leftist supporters wanted changes made in the run-up to the vote, with their slogan being "approve to reform."

The opposition has promised to restart the process of rewriting the constitution, promising Chilean voters that the next one will truly reflect their interests.

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