The president has dealt a blow as Chile firmly rejects the radical new constitution


The Chilean leader suffered a significant setback after voters resoundingly rejected a new constitution to replace a 41-year-old charter imposed under dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Resident Gabriel Boric had argued that the document would have ushered in a new progressive era.

With 99% of votes counted in Sunday’s plebiscite, the rejecting camp won 61.9% support to 38.1% for approval amid high turnout with long lines in states electoral. Voting was compulsory.

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The plebiscite was seen as a referendum on the government of Gabriel Boric (Andres Poblete/AP)

The plebiscite was seen as a referendum on the government of Gabriel Boric (Andres Poblete/AP)

The approval camp conceded defeat, its spokesman Vlado Mirosevic saying: “We recognize this result and we listen with humility to what the Chilean people have expressed”.

Mr Boric, who lobbied for the new document, said the results made it clear that the Chilean people “were not satisfied with the constitutional proposal that the convention presented to Chile”.

Most Chileans support amending the dictatorship-era constitution and Boric made it clear that the amending process would not end with Sunday’s vote. He said it was necessary for leaders to “work with more determination, more dialogue, more respect” to come up with a new charter proposal “that unites us as a country”.

The rejection was widely expected in the country of 19million, as months of pre-election polls showed Chileans had been wary of the draft charter drafted by a constituent assembly in which the majority of delegates were unaffiliated. to a political party.

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Opponents of the change had reason to celebrate on Sunday evening (Matias Basualdo/AP)


Opponents of the change had reason to celebrate on Sunday evening (Matias Basualdo/AP)

Opponents of the change had reason to celebrate on Sunday evening (Matias Basualdo/AP)

The result is a blow to Mr. Boric, who, at 36, is Chile’s youngest president.

He had tied his fortunes so closely to the new document that analysts said it was likely some voters saw the plebiscite as a referendum on his government at a time when his approval ratings have fallen since he took office in March. .

What is happening now amounts to a big question mark. Chilean political leaders on all sides agree that the constitution which dates from the country’s dictatorship from 1973 to 1990 must change.

The process that will be chosen to draft a new proposal has yet to be determined and will likely be the subject of tough negotiations among the country’s political leaders.

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