AMERICA/CHILE - After the referendum: the Bishops call for dialogue in view of the drafting of the new Constitution

Tuesday, 27 October 2020 elections   episcopal conferences  


Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - After the majority of the citizens in the referendum last Sunday, October 25th, approved the proposal to amend the constitution, the Standing Committee of the Bishops' Conference of Chile also expressed its opinion and described the referendum as a "great sign of civilization and participation". In this new path "the role of citizens will be of fundamental importance", say the Bishops, who urge them to continue the path of dialogue in view of the elections of the delegates in April 2021, who will have to draw up the proposal of a new Constitution for Chile.
With a turnout of 87%, 78.2% of the participants voted in favor of the constitutional amendment, compared with 21.8% who expressed the desire not to change it. Therefore the path to a new Constitution will begin with its drafting, which will be entrusted to a "Constituent Convention", which was also confirmed as a body in the referendum. It consists exclusively of democratically elected citizens, in equal parts men and women, who will be elected in an election on April 11, 2021. Thereafter the elected will have nine months to submit the constitutional proposal, even if they could ask for an extension of three months. Finally, a new referendum will have to approve or reject the proposal, at least 60 days after it is presented, and it will be with compulsory voting.
In the declaration, the Bishops recall that "the role of citizens will be of fundamental importance. We encourage people, citizens and political organizations to continue the path of dialogue, listening to ideas, proposals and values that are fundamental for the decision that the electorate must take to elect the delegates in April 2021 who will have to build together the proposal for a new Constitution for Chile".
The text ends with an appeal: "We call on the various political parties to conclude the agreements, which are the responsibility of Congress, in order to facilitate this process, so that it is truly representative of the plurality of Chile". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 27/10/2020)