Chileans to hold Constituent Assembly elections

Beginning today, Chileans will elect 155 constituent assembly members to rewrite the country’s constitution. Popular support to replace the dictatorship-era

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Photo: Esteban Felix, AP

Beginning today, Chileans will elect 155 constituent assembly members to rewrite the country’s constitution.

Popular support to replace the dictatorship-era constitution has been building since 2013. Since October 2019, social unrest has steadily increased as the constitutional movement gained traction.

Today’s election is the most inclusive electoral process in Chile’s history as candidates are representing ideologies across the political spectrum. Chile’s privatization policies, which have remained in place since the 1970s, have created increasing inequality. Parties on the left have pushed for more state control of natural resources and public spending on education, health and other sectors. While agreeing to minute changes in social spending, the parties on the right have largely argued to defend the current free-market system. With the right expected to hold one-third of the seats post-election, expect alliance-making and concessions to be central in Chilean politics in the near-term.

In the medium-term, it is likely that there will be long and protracted negotiations between the newly selected candidates. With general elections coming up in November, expect the issue of high-income inequality to persist and grow in the national dialogue.

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