Chile: Improving the New Constitution after Approving

Government-allied parties agree on points to reform if the new Constitution is approved

Photo: La Nación

We offer Chile our commitment to clarify things, & combat the enormous campaign of falsehoods those in favor of Rejecting have carried out.

By Patricia Schuller Gamboa (La Nacion)

HAVANA TIMES – On Thursday, August 11, the presidents of Chile’s government-allied parties made public a formal agreement regarding reforms to the text of the new Constitution if the Approved vote wins in the Chilean plebiscite to be held on September 4. Participating party leaders called this accord a “great proof of generosity.”

Natalia Piergentili, head of the Party for Democracy, affirmed: “This was our first great proof of generosity, of working together and not losing sight of the things that are possible under the leadership of President Gabriel Boric.”

She added that the accord, “in no moment intends to alter what the Convention achieved in a democratic fashion, nor those points that form the backbone for a better Chile. What we’ve wanted to do, in our humble way, is to reflect the concerns of our citizens; to define, explain or respond to some of the topics that have spawned doubts, the campaigns to spawn terror and some overall fears in the population.”

“We hope to have an impact, so that all those citizens who have had doubts about the Approve vote, due to those campaigns of terror-mongering, can find in this accord the answers that move them back towards voting to Approve. In our opinion, that’s the option that puts us on the road to the Chile that unites and brings us together – within the diversity, differences or shades of opinion that each of the parties that met here might have,” she remarked.

Guillermo Teillier, president of Chile’s Communist Party, noted that it’s “an agreement that refers to the popular perception that there are some points in the new Constitution that perhaps aren’t well understood, or maybe there are flaws in the draft, because there are some points that appear in one place, while others are in another – they don’t come together in a comprehensible way.”

“This accord was necessary, to establish that we want to assure certain things. That’s our commitment; we can’t guarantee we’ll do these things, because there will have to be popular debate. As has been said, no one wants to bypass the popular sovereignty, we want to respect it,” he added.

“We’re also not intending to disdain the work of the delegates in the Constitutional Convention. They’ve performed a great labor. But as we said at first, the new Constitution itself, right in the text, says that it can be reformed and lays out how, proposing that in this process the people’s participation is necessary and vital.”

“With that in mind, we offer the country this commitment to clarify, assure that the things said are true, and to combat the enormous campaign of falsehoods and lies that those in favor of Rejecting have carried out. This gives the citizens certainty, security, and adds to the likelihood that the majority of the Chilean people are going to vote to Approve,” was Teillier’s verdict.

Meanwhile, the president of the Democratic Revolution party, Juan Ignacio Latorre, pointed to this as an effort to “combat a brutal disinformation campaign, with millions invested by the right wing and all the parties backing Reject, to mount a campaign that’s confusing and misleading the citizens. The latter campaign, he stressed, “isn’t only through mean-spirited and false pamphlets, but also with a lot of paid publicity on social media and in the mainstream media.”

Given that scenario, Latorre insisted: “We have a duty to reinforce the democratic process in this historic plebiscite on September 4, with clear and transparent proposals. Looking at the contents, the proposal for this new Constitution has marked a historic milestone in our country. It represents a paradigm change with respect to the Constitution of the 80s, formed and dictated by the dictatorship and ratified through a fraudulent plebiscite.”

Latorre, also a senator, stressed that the proposal for a new Foundational Document marks “a significant paradigm change, going from a neoliberal government with subsidies to a social democratic government of regional, ecological and pluralistic rights.”

He noted that the Chilean congress, “is going to play an important role in the implementation of the new Constitution, once we’ve won and approved it – an outcome I don’t doubt – on September 4. Beginning September 5, the legislative and constitutional debate will continue, with proposals for Constitutional reform that the citizens themselves are going to make.”

“This is a proposal that opens the way to participative democracy,” Latorre declared. “[After the election], it will be Congress, under the leadership of President Boric, that will play a fundamental role towards allowing the citizens, through the social organizations, the academic world, the cultures, the regions, and the original peoples, to construct the profound changes our society yearns for, but at the same time with stability and governability.”

“No to the neoliberal governments; [we want] a new, transformative governance. We’re dedicated to that, and we’ve achieved the unity that President Boric asked of us, both the government-allied parties and the universe backing the Approved option, so that we can fan out in the weeks that are left and get feet onto the street, so that once and for all we’ll have a new democratic Constitution and leave behind the Constitution of 1980,” he concluded.

Read more from Chile here on Havana Times.