Chileans Vote For Body To Rewrite Dictatorship-era Constitution

Chileans vote for body to rewrite dictatorship-era constitution

Santiago, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th May, 2021 ) :Chileans went to the polls Saturday to elect 155 people who will re-write the country's dictatorship-era constitution in a bid to address deep-seated social inequality that gave rise to deadly protests in 2019.

Over two days on Saturday and Sunday, some 14 million people are eligible to vote in what many consider to be Chile's most important election since its return to democracy 31 years ago.

"Let the voice of the people be heard today in this historic election," President Sebastian Pinera said on Twitter before casting his ballot.

Chile's constitution dates from 1980, enacted at the height of dictator Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 rule, and is widely blamed for blocking equitable progress in a country ranked as one of the most unequal among advanced economies.

This inequality was one of the main drivers of protests that began in October 2019, resulting a month later -- after 36 deaths -- in the government agreeing to a referendum on a new constitution.

That plebiscite, initially scheduled for April 2020 but delayed due to the pandemic, finally took place on October 25 last year.

And the outcome was unequivocal: 80 percent voted for a new constitution to be drawn up by a body made up entirely of elected members.