In Chile, a ten-year-old constitution needs to be reformed. The people voted for it. With the decision, voters also showed what they think of current politics.

In Chile, tens of thousands of people in the capital Santiago celebrated with fireworks and cheers the decision to adopt a new constitution. According to preliminary results, more than three-quarters (78 percent) of voters on Sunday voted to replace the dictator Augusto Pinochet’s constitution with a new one. The referendum was triggered by massive and often violent social protests over the past year against the backdrop of a tense economic situation.

Signs of mistrust of politicians in Chile

In the referendum, Chileans voted to form a constitutional assembly of 155 members, half of which should be men and women. They rejected the proposal to involve parliamentarians in the creation of the new constitution – a sign of the deep distrust of politicians in Chile. The committee will be elected in April. It then has a year to draft a constitution. Then people have to vote on it.

Many voters associate the new constitution with the hope that barriers in the form of increased rights to health care, pensions and education will be imposed on the relatively rampant capitalism practiced in Chile. A reform of the privatized water supply is also one of the wishes. This currently means that small farmers have more difficult access to the resource. In addition, the Mapuche minority must be recognized.

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