After the plebiscite, what are the next steps to reform the Constitution in Chile?

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Elections of 155 constituents, a year of work and a final consultation to approve or reject what has been sanctioned.

With practically 100% of the votes counted, the result of Chile’s historic constitutional plebiscite is overwhelming: almost 8 out of 10 Chileans chose to draft a new Magna Carta and even more opted for a body whose members are elected in their entirety by the citizens to do so.

It will be a two-year process, these are the steps:

More than 14 million Chileans, qualified to vote, 155 constituents will be able to elect on April 11, elected in the same districts that are used for the elections of deputies. The neighboring country’s bet has been for parity: parties and coalitions must not only present the same number of female and male candidates, but their election will be guaranteed.

How? If there are more men than women, elected with the first majorities, the men elected by the least amount of votes will give way to the women elected with the highest majorities that have been out of the body. The same would happen if it occurs in the reverse case: there must be both men and women at the convention.

The inclusion of Native Peoples is pending. The idea, which is still being legislated, is to include 28 protected seats to the millenary cultures of the country, distributing them equally and proportionally to each of the cultures. Thus, the Mapuches would have more seats than, for example, the Rapa Nui of Easter Island.

The agreement signed on November 15 provides that the Convention will begin to work one month after the election. It is very likely that his physical place of work is the former National Congress of Santiago (the current one is located in Valparaíso).

The members will be 9 months to shape the new body of law. The regulation is not written, as this work will be the first thing they must do when they take office.

What is clear, since it was left as an initial agreement, is that all the agreements and articles of the new constitution must get 2/3 of the votes of the constituents to integrate the text. For this reason, it is difficult for a particular sector to obtain said majority, so rather cross-cutting commitments and changes negotiated by the different sectors are expected.

If the proposal is not ready in nine months, the body can extend its work for three more months.

It is not enough for the Constituent Convention to reach an agreement on a New Constitution for it to enter into force. Again the Chileans and Chileans will have the last word: a new plebiscite.

Unlike yesterday, this new process will be by mandatory voteIn other words, it will be the most voted election in its history since a turnout of close to 13 million voters is expected. To give it context, yesterday’s election had 7,454,000 votes and is the largest on record, but it only reached a 51% turnout to vote.

Said plebiscite would be at the end of the first half of 2022, when there is already a new president.

Chile will attend his presidential election in November next year, in the middle of the work of its Constitutional Convention. It will be the new president who signs the text and must go through the installation of the changes required by the new document.

For now, the candidates leading the polls are three mayors and a former candidate. Joaquín Lavín and Evelyn Matthei, councilors of the Las Condes and Providencia neighborhoods, do so for the ruling party. Daniel Jadue, mayor of Recoleta and Beatriz Sánchez, a former candidate, do it for the opposition.



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