With almost 100% of the ballot boxes counted in the elections for the new constituent assembly in Chile, everything indicates that the far-right Republican Party will individually win the largest number of seats. José Antonio Kast’s group, which lost to Gabriel Boric in the 2021 presidential race, will have 22 seats out of a total of 51. It is followed by Unidad por Chile, which represents the center-left government alliance, which reaches 17 seats, and by Chile Seguro , also from the right, which won 11. There will be a representative of the original peoples, who make up 12% of the population. The collective will be equal between men and women.
Conservatism will thus have 32 votes, obtaining a total of 3/5 to approve any constitutional proposal.
IT IS A VERY SERIOUS SITUATION from a democratic point of view. If it was already a lame duck, the Boric government now completely loses its ability to take the initiative and define the national agenda.
There is a reversal of the trend towards the left, manifested in three opportunities between 2020-21: the plebiscite for the original convening of the constituent convention, the election of delegates and the victory of Gabriel Boric to the presidency.
BORIC ESTABLISHED an ambiguous government internally and aligned with Washington internationally. Elected in the wake of the popular movements of 2019-20, he failed to meet the huge social expectations for change. This was especially due to his attachment to fiscal austerity policies.
The government never had full control of the state security apparatus and it took four months after taking office to present measures that would immediately improve the lives of the people. The drop in popularity was accentuated over the course of a year in office.
HIS BIGGEST DEFEAT took place in the plebiscite for the approval of the draft Constitution, last September. Without a clear command – despite the progressive sectors having 117 seats out of a total of 155 conventional – the members approved measures that provided arguments for a heavy conservative campaign, full of fake news. Among them was the introduction of the right to abortion in the Magna Carta – something that does not exist in any other country – and the defense of a plurinational State. The correctness or otherwise of the two points is not contested here, but the way in which they were presented.
The new Constitution already arrives with its pre-project ready: a commission of 24 “experts”, appointed by the Legislative direction, with a conservative majority, outlined the goals for the five-month deadline agreed for the presentation of the final form of the major law.
In addition, a technical admissibility committee composed of 14 jurists appointed by the Senate will try to smooth out rough spots in the rules to be debated.
THE GOVERNMENT LOST THE INITIATIVE right at the beginning of its mandate, when it still had high legitimacy conferred by the recent election. It’s a no-return situation. Or, as they say in fighter aviation parlance, there are no second chances when you lose your offensive capability in combat.
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