25 October 2020
On Sunday, October 25, more than seven million Chileans went to the polls to decide if they wanted to keep the existing Constitution or if they preferred to have a new constitution drawn up. Regarding the path for change, they were asked about their preference for an assembly wholly elected for such purposes or a mixed body composed in equal parts of sitting parliamentarians and elected representatives with a constituent mandate. The result that became known that same Sunday afternoon was clear and eloquent: almost 80 percent of voters favoured a new constitution and a Constitutional Convention. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions that marked the elections, the electoral process was carried out with total normality and in a climate of optimism, citizen participation was higher than in the last elections and a significant presence of young people was evident, who when the results were known they went out en masse and peacefully to celebrate in the streets of Santiago and other cities in the country.
Sunday's election takes place exactly one year after the massive demonstrations that were carried out throughout Chile and that demanded the consecration and assurance of social rights, higher levels of equality, inclusion and social protection, the end of abuses, and dignified treatment for everybody. In historical and political terms, for many Chileans these elections put an end to the Constitution imposed by the dictatorship forty years ago, which despite having undergone important reforms during the democratic transition, never ceased to be perceived by large sectors of the country as a legacy of the dictator Pinochet and an attempt to enshrine the neoliberal model in Chile.
The Socialist International congratulates its member parties and the Chilean people for this significant step and trusts that the constituent process will live up to the demands and expectations of the people, allowing them to reiterate their democratic vocation, their rejection of dictatorship and definitively leave behind a constitution from another era, one of the darkest in the history of the country.