Chileans were inclined to reject at the polls a Magna Carta designed this time by a constitutional council with hegemony of the extreme right and accompanied by its right-wing partners. When 90% of the electoral roll was scrutinized, the “Against” option garnered 55.68% of the votes, against 44.32% for “For.” Before confirming the result, both the President’s Government Gabriel Boric as his adversaries had promised not to promote a third reformist process. Some and others talk about a “constitutional fatigue” in society. Despite the exhaustion and volatility of political opinions, the consultation had a high participation of the electorate: almost 80% of people able to vote.

Analysts seem to agree on the reasons for the result. “The population is so exhaustedis so far from the will for change that dominated the scene between 2019 and 2021, that in truth any presidential candidate who proposes a new constituent process is going to be repudiated by several” said electoral expert Pepe Auth.

This way, The South American country returns to the stage prior to the social outbreak of October 2019 when, to direct the situation, it was agreed to draft a new fundamental text. “The mother of battles,” the left said at the time. That first initiative, progressive and equal court, was however defeated in September 2022. Its promoters paid the high cost of failure. The situation has not been completely reversed this Sunday. Although the conservative sectors had promoted the “A Favor”, they do not feel uncomfortable with the validity of the Constitution drawn up in 1980 in the image and likeness of the general’s dictatorship. Augusto Pinochet. Therefore, the fact that this Charter, which has been the subject of some 70 reforms since the democratic transition began in 1990, is maintained, is, at one point, a kind of victory for that space despite the electoral setback.

“Chileans said at the beginning of this story that they wanted a new Constitution. Today, for the second time, the current Constitution in Chile has been ratified. And it is important to be consistent with this democratic response that our country has proposed,” he said in that sense Javier Macaya, president of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI, right). Cristóbal Bellolio, an academic at the Adolfo Ibáñez University, recalled however that the current Constitution has “an origin flaw” because ““It was done under fraud and dictatorship”. In the last 43 years the text has been amended, but it bears that mark of origin that he tried to remove on two occasions.

The proposal rejected on Sunday gave decisive weight to the private sector in areas such as education, health and pensions, precisely the sparks that ignited the revolt four years ago. Feminist groups maintained that this Constitution represented a setback for gender aspirations in all its aspects. “The women knew what was at stake”said Carolina Leito, the spokesperson for the “En Contra” campaign. Environmentalists consider the same with regard to the way in which the State prepared in that text for climate change.

The president’s word

Beyond any result, our democracy is strengthened“said Boric at the time of voting. “I call on all my compatriots to value these instances.” “Our government is going to continue working on the people’s priorities,” added the president. The young president avoided political humiliation this Sunday, but he was not in a position to claim a personal victory or that of his Government, with several storm fronts on the horizon.

Michelle Bachelet She was a determined opponent of the Magna Carta proposal. The former president also considered that, as of Monday, the path opened in 2019 on the streets is “closed.” “I believe that there is neither the spirit nor the desire to carry out a new process. and second, I think There are other, much more urgent problems to solve.“, among them that of urban security. The presidential spokesperson, Camila Vallejo, pointed out the same thing. The Minister of the Interior and Public Security, Carolina Tohá, did not rule out changes in the team of ministers in light of the political developments. “What What awaits us is to make a great effort to learn, to fulfill the mandate of the people, be it one or the other.

The presidential candidate of the right wing of the Chilean Republican Party, Jose Antonio Kast, during the vote on the constitutional referendum.

Crossroads left and right

The writer Rafael Gumucio voted “Against.” The victory of that alternative has, however, left a bitter taste. In his opinion, “disappointment towards politics and politicians” has prevailed. What happened does not surprise him. At his discretion, has gained “the boredom towards a Government that has managed to be neither lovable nor credible“. At one point, the left lost, despite the fact that the much feared scenario, the victory of “A Favor”, did not materialize. It has still not been able to regain strength since the beating in September 2022. Boric, in addition, It has a popularity of less than 40%, insufficient to impose an agenda that includes an ambitious tax reform.

“A stage is closing”he pointed out, without any semblance of originality, José Antonio Kast. As the hours passed, the leader of the far-right Republicans tried to avoid paying the personal price of the electoral verdict. His purpose of converting the consultation into a plebiscite against the Government to cement his presidential run at the end of 2025, did not come to fruition. The mayor of the commune of Providencia, one of the most prosperous in Santiago, Evelyn Matthei, from the UDI, once again warned that she wants to compete for the same position. She reproached Kast’s party for the way in which she approached the second constituent process. “What I really aspired to was that we could have a Constitution that could be approved by seventy percent of Chileans. That would have been ideal.”