Chile’s Congress Wednesday passed a bill proposing a new constitution to replace the nation’s Pinochet-era constitution. The new bill was proposed by Honourable Senators Velásquez, Campillai and Sepúlveda. The bill has now been passed to President Gabriel Boric to be signed into law.The bill will ensure that voters have a significant voice, after a previous effort for constitutional reform failed due to unpopularity with voters.The previous constitution was passed in 1980 under General Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet came to power in 1973 through a violent military coup and remained in power until 1988. The constitution formed under this time reflect the violent military values of Pinochet. Member of the Chamber of Deputies Andrés Jouannet stated that, “The previous [constitution] divides us and will continue to divide us, and we will not be able to build a new country.”Human rights organizations believe that Chile’s 2019 riots reflected the need for social development, the ratification of social rights and the need for better pensions, educational access, better healthcare, housing and transportation. The new text will also aim improve rights for women and Indigenous peoples.
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