Constitutional Process NATIONAL POLITICS

Constitutional process advances as council starts work

After the Expert Commission finished writing the foundations of Chile’s new Constitution, the Constitutional Council will now amend the text. The council was popularly elected and is dominated by right-wing forces. The drafting process will end in November.

Chile’s Constitutional Council started work on Wednesday, with the first orders of business having been the election of a president and vice president and receiving the preliminary constitutional draft from the Expert Commission.

The 51-member council was popularly elected on May 7 and will write a proposal based on the draft created by the experts, which were selected by Congress.

Republican Party member Beatriz Hevia, a lawyer from Los Lagos region, was elected council president with 33 votes and independent Aldo Valle, running on the ticket of the Socialist Party, vice president with 17 votes. Valle is a former head of Universidad de Valparaíso.

The council is dominated by far-right Republican Party and traditional right-wing forces.

During the inauguration ceremony, President Gabriel Boric thanked the Expert Commission for its work and said the council hopefully writes a broadly appealing proposal: “this work is for them, for our people, and we owe it to them.”

Local media reported Hevia as saying that she “invites Chileans to have hope” and that the council should be “a meeting point to build the future of our country together.”

Valle said, “we will have to represent those who elected us,” adding that this approach also involves mulling others’ demands.

The council has 40 days to amend and change the experts’ text, after which it must vote on all articles. The document will then go back to the Expert Commission for final review, and the drafting process will end Nov. 6. 

An exit plebiscite will take place on Dec. 17.

The first constitutional draft was rejected by 62 percent of the population in September 2022.

Also read:

Next steps on Chile’s path to a possible new constitution

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