September 2022

By Julieta Gomez

In 2019, what began as a protest against the rise in the price of a subway ticket escalated into a massive demonstration against the cost of living, privatization, and inequality, with over 1.2 million people taking to the streets. The sweeping protests resulted in a referendum on October 25, 2020, where the Chilean people voted to draft a new constitution and elect the 155 members of a Constitutional Convention. In May 2021, they elected their representatives to the Constitutional Convention, and in October, on the two-year anniversary of the protests, then-President Sebastian Piñera announced the beginning of the process to draft a new Constitution.

On May 16th, 2022, the convention presented its draft constitution, with the final proposal being presented on July 4th, 2022. The Chilean people voted on the proposal in a referendum on September 4, with 62% of voters rejecting the proposed Constitution.

This rejection represents a big loss for Chilean President Gabriel Boric, who entered office in March of this year and campaigned strongly on the success of the new constitution. The rejection of the proposed constitution means that the convention process will begin again, with new members of the Constitutional Convention to be elected by popular vote. The new group will also be composed of an equal number of men and women, and will be advised by a committee of constitutional experts. At this point, it is unclear if there will be 155 members again.

Many things remain uncertain, but one thing is true: President Boric is taking this defeat seriously and has made important changes to his cabinet, bringing in people closer to the center and moving away from the left. As the situation develops, we will continue to keep you updated.