Boric arrives weakened at an appointment that is expected to give more voice to conservative positions
MADRID, 6 May. (EUROPA PRESS) -
Chileans are called to the polls this Sunday to elect the 50 councilors who must draft a new draft of the Constitution, after the failure of the first attempt to repeal the Magna Carta approved during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The Government of Gabriel Boric arrives weakened at the meeting, in which the conservative positions aspire instead to recover the ground lost in recent years.
The drafting of a new Constitution was the great promise with which in 2021 the then president, Sebastián Piñera, managed to appease a wave of protests dubbed a 'social outbreak'. A constituent convention with a majority of independents, although left-leaning, made a first attempt that ended up being rejected in September 2022, already with Boric in power.
A vast majority of voters said 'no', at the end of a markedly politicized process and in which issues such as multinationality or the right to abortion were black on white. Despite the fact that eight out of ten Chileans had said in a previous referendum that they wanted a new constitution, almost 62 percent of voters ended up preferring to stick with the 1989 text.
Boric, promoter of the 'yes', accepted the defeat but avoided throwing in the towel, starting a new process that will live a new milestone this Sunday. The composition of the Constitutional Council will be key to determining the wording of the second constitutional project, which does not have to follow the lines established by the previous draft, and to relaunch the interest of citizens in the process.
Not surprisingly, the polls show a growing lack of interest. 47 percent of Chileans have "no or very little" interest in this Sunday's elections, according to a survey published this Friday by the Criteria firm and in which 62 percent acknowledge that they have "no or very little" information about these elections.
More than 350 candidates are running for these elections, divided basically into five groups that represent, to a greater or lesser extent, the positions of the major parties in Chilean politics. In the case of the Government, its main supporters are included in Unity for Chile, although there is also a second center-left faction, Todo por Chile, heir to the now-defunct Concertación.
The level of support for Boric is around 38 percent and, if the forecasts come true, the right will regain momentum in these elections. The president plans to follow the closure of the day from the headquarters of the Government and together with his ministers, although he is not expected to speak publicly until the next day, according to the newspaper 'El Mercurio'.
In the official ranks it is taken for granted that they will suffer a defeat, but they are trying to establish a containment barrier to avoid a contagion effect. Some ministers have called not to draw parallels between what may happen this Sunday and the general political situation in the country, given that Boric's term does not expire until March 2026.
The president has said that his "expectations" go through "strengthening democracy" in a day that he trusts will be "exemplary." "I deeply trust the democratic wisdom of the people of Chile," he declared this week, in the final stretch of a campaign that, whatever happens, will give rise again to months of debate and a second referendum on the future constitutional project. , still to be discussed and defined.