Chile´s electoral service, Servel, published a list last week of all the candidates who met the requirements to run for the Constitutional Convention. Among them are writers, lawyers, and former ministers. On Apr. 11, Chile will vote to select those who will write the country’s new Constitution.
Not being part of a political party, enough signatures gathered: these were two of several conditions Chile’s electoral service, Servel, established for those who wish to be part of the Constitutional Convention that will write a new Constitution.
Servel reported that 1,463 people applied and 1,191 of them were accepted. Among them are some well-known Chileans. Several have a political past.
Social activists like Bessy Gallardo and Yuyuniz Navas; journalists like Bernardo de la Maza, René Naranjo, Patricia Politzer, and Lucía López; writer Jorge Baradit; former student leader Emilia Schneider; and lawyer Fernando Atria have all thrown their hats into the ring.
Chile’s political parties also took steps to make sure they could still be part of the writing process. Party members, often people with long political histories, suddenly resigned from their parties to meet Servel´s requirements. For example, Frente Amplio saw its former presidential candidate Beatriz Sánchez run, and former ministers Cristián Monckeberg (RN) and Gonzalo Blumel (Evópoli) are now running in the same electoral district.
The former education ministers Mariana Aylwin and Marcela Cubillos are also running in the same district, along with Hernán Larraín Matte, who until recently was president of Evópoli. Former Undersecretary of Health Arturo Zúñiga is running in the same district as former Agriculture minister Antonio Walker.
Several politicians also resigned from Congress to be part of the historic process. Communist Party representative Hugo Gutiérrez and independent represenative Renato Garín did so, as well as Senator Felipe Harboe.
For politicians, these are risky moves, considering that the referendum showed that Chileans have lost confidence in politicians to decide their future.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.