Rejected In Chile Right-wing Constitutional Project; Pinochet's Constitution Will Remain in Force

Rejected In Chile Right-wing Constitutional Project; Pinochet's Constitution Will Remain in Force
Fecha de publicación: 
22 December 2023

With a massive vote in a country where voting is mandatory, the Chilean people rejected this Sunday the constitutional project drafted by the reaction, especially by the far-right leader of the Republican Party, José Antonio Kast.

With 99.86% of voting offices scrutinized, the 'againsts' prevails with 55.76% compared to 44.24% of the 'in favor'.

In any case, the result is rather a victory for the right, more than a victory for the left, because the constitution drafted while Augusto Pinochet remains in force, somewhat amended later, but which denies social recognition and strengthens neoliberalism, as the defeated project also represented.

Everything that happened with this project and the previous leftist one of 2022 speaks of the huge failure of the Chilean political class, of the incapacity proven, for example, by governments and legislators to agree on the text of a new Political Constitution that replaces the Magna Carta of 1980 bequeathed by Pinochet.

After the social outbreak of 2019, a chain of events was unleashed that allowed us to comprehend an inevitable shift in society to the left.

First, the election of the constitutional convention that was passed in July 2021, and in which 64% of the elected conventions came from the independent world and the alternative left, confirmed the mood experienced in the streets during the long protests of 2019. Then, the victory of Gabriel Boric as president in December 2022 sealed an unprecedented triumph for the left.


The question remained as to how a people could vote in several consecutive elections for left-wing options and a few months later vote for the most extreme right.

However, once the new Constitution was drafted, with Boric in the Government, the Chilean people overwhelmingly rejected the progressive proposal in September 2022 and destroyed any idea of "inevitability" of a process of social transformation. Instead, the opposite happened, and it reversed in such a radical way that the pendulum in Chile had already swung back and forth, in a matter of months, from a pole of the radical left to one of the radical right.

Thus, the Republican Party and its leader, the former ultra-reactionary right-wing candidate, José Antonio Kast, together with the traditional right, managed to take over the Constitutional Council to design a constitutional proposal in their image and likeness. It seemed then that Chilean society had taken a turn and was heading towards the waters of the deep, historical, Pinochetist right.

Once the right-wing constitutional proposal was drafted, however, it did not achieve popular approval in the recently completed referendum.


It’s sad to see that the proposals put forward by Gabriel Boric's government have little or no chance of becoming law, as is the case with the delayed tax reform and the unfair pension regime. Nor does it seem possible to replace the private and corrupt health system. Put an end, as was repeatedly promised, to the administrations of pension funds and private health companies that, despite the scandals that are now being discovered, will probably continue in force with just a few discreet patches.

Not even in matters of education, the student leaders who came to government show themselves capable of meeting the demand so voiced in their mobilizations. This is strengthening public education, canceling the million-dollar debts in favor of private entities with the approval of the State. When there are now tens of thousands of primary and secondary students who don’t attend their schools due to the fair strike of the disappointed teachers, which strengthens elitist education and the pronounced cultural gap between the poor and the rich.

The above is a response to the naive willingness of authorities to achieve everything with the approval of the opposition, renouncing the social mobilization that has been the true driving force of the transformations. Contained by the terror campaigns promoted by the wealthy world, the reactionary parties, and the meek press. For the same people who throughout the world seek to tarnish popular expressions, accusing their protests and social demands as violent or even terrorist.


It’s obvious that the Chilean political class is also handcuffed by its complicity with corruption and the impunities that favor it. We already see that the lack of integrity has had no exception in the new rulers, despite the promises they made to mark a difference with the behavior of their predecessors. In this way, tying ourselves with the behavior of so many politicians on the right or who call themselves left, before a people who watch in astonishment and are forced to decide again between anger or disenchantment.

The attempt to comply with the country that demanded, at the polls, a constitutional change has been a failure. A population that suffers great problems, with huge domestic discomfort, but that doesn’t find a reliable solution.

This is even more dangerous when we have latent the experience that the neighboring town is going through.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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