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Due to a new wave of Covid-19, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said on Sunday he would call for the “postponement” to May of elections scheduled for April 10 and 11 to form a Constituent Assembly. The measure must be ratified by Congress.
For the 14 million Chilean voters, it will still be necessary to wait to turn the page on the Constitution inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, proposed Sunday March 28 that the elections for the appointment of the members of a Constituent Assembly responsible for drafting the future Constitution of the country be postponed for five weeks due to the resurgence of the epidemic in the country.
A constitutional reform proposal must be sent to Congress on Monday so that the ballot can be held on May 15 and 16 instead of on Saturday April 10 and Sunday April 11.
“Protecting the health and life of our compatriots has always been our first priority,” said the Chilean head of state after an emergency meeting at the presidential palace of La Moneda in Santiago.
To protect the salud de todos nuestros compatriotas ha sido siempre nuestra primera prioridad. Protecting the salud de nuestra Democracia, cumplir Compromise and securing a democratic, participativo electoral process y seguro lo es también.
Comparto con Uds important information: pic.twitter.com/nbdSTBtNjh
– Sebastian Piñera (@sebastianpinera) March 29, 2021
The country under a bell
Despite a rapid vaccination campaign, Chile is facing a sharp increase in contamination and a new total containment concerning more than 80% of the population was put in place on Saturday.
More than six of Chile’s 16 million people have already received at least one dose of vaccine, making the country one of the leaders in immunization in Latin America. For the Head of State, these figures are despite everything insufficient: “Our objective is to be able to vaccinate 9.3 million people, that is to say those over 40 years old, with two doses before the elections of the 15 and May 16. “
For the Chilean president, it is a question of reassuring the population before the elections and of seeking the conditions of a strong electoral participation.
At the end of October 2020, the Chileans had voted by referendum (79%) for a change of Constitution to replace the current one, inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).
It was one of the demands of the demonstrators who took to the streets from October 2019 to demand a more just society.
The postponement of the elections has already been called for by most political parties, including those in the opposition, but the new polling dates have yet to be approved by two-thirds of Congress.
The Chilean president also announced that the second round of governors’ elections, originally scheduled for May 9, would eventually take place on July 4, concurrent with the presidential primaries.