In 19 months after the Chilean people took to the streets on a large scale in the weeks of protests to demand major changes, the struggle to replace the Pinochet dictatorship continued in the polls this weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday of two days, Chileans will elect a 155-member Constituent Assembly. Many people believe that this is the most important vote since the restoration of democracy 31 years ago.
The current 1980 Magna Carta passed in the heyday of the reign of dictator Augusto Pinochet, in a country known as one of the most unequal countries in the world’s advanced economies , At most regarded as an obstacle to equal development.
The OECD report in February pointed out that “persistent huge inequality” is the main challenge in Chile. 53% of Chilean households are classified as economically disadvantaged, while the poorest 20% of households have a disastrous income of 5.1%.
It was this inequality that was the main driving force behind the protests that began in October 2019, which claimed 36 lives. A month later, the government agreed to a referendum on the new constitution.
The referendum, which was postponed to April 2020 due to the pandemic, was finally held on October 25.
The result is clear-in the referendum, more than 80% of people voted in favor of a new constitution drafted by a special body composed entirely of elected members.
Seven months later, more than 1,300 candidates have competed to become part of history.
As Carmen Le Foulon of the Public Research Center put it, “about 14 million people have the right to vote”, which is very important in a symbolic sense.
Analysts believe that this will be mainly about fighting between political factions, and independent candidates are not expected to receive any major support.
The left-wing parties advocate strengthening state control over minerals and other natural resources, most of which are privatized after the end of the dictatorship, and increase public spending on education, education, pensions, and social programs.
Right-wing parties also believe that it is necessary to strengthen social influence. They advocate the establishment of a free market system, which they claim is responsible for Chile’s economic growth in the past few decades.
No public opinion survey has been conducted yet, but observers hope that left-wing parties will have a majority in the “Constitution Assembly.”
However, according to Mauricio Morales (Mauricio Morales), a political analyst at the University of Talca, “This by no means means that the left-wing parties will surpass the right-wing parties.”
The leftists are very divided on economic policy, religion, and other issues. They are scattered on 60 electoral lists, while the rightists are unified on a list that includes the ruling coalition and the extreme right.