The people of Chile will decide whether to adopt or reject the constitution in a nationwide referendum on 4 September.
Boric said after receiving a copy of the draft document, “I know, and the whole of Chile knows that it was not easy. And that, dear compatriots, democracy is not easy.”
“Despite the legitimate differences that exist regarding the content of the text, which will be debated in the following months, there is something all Chileans should be proud of – that at the most profound political, institutional and social moment in which our motherland has been in crisis for decades. In the past, the Chilean people opted for more democracy, not less.”
The proposed constitution marks a departure from the country’s current constitution, which was written under the influence of the neoliberal model of economist Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago. Despite several amendments, most Chileans attribute this to the country’s enormous inequalities.
The proposed new constitution emphasizes social and ecological factors, ensures the rights of Chile’s indigenous people and envisages a new national health system.
The process of potentially changing the constitution inherited from the late General Augusto Pinochet, the dictator who ruled the country from 1973 to 1990, began three years ago with an increase in metro fares.
Mass protests and riots across the country in the fall of 2019 forced then-President Sebastian Pinera to agree to a referendum on rewriting the constitution.
In October 2020, more than 78% of Chilean voters approved the constitutional change and in June 2021, they cast their ballots again to elect members to a Constituent Assembly.
In a severe blow to both the centre-left and right-wing coalitions that have shared power since their return to democracy in 1990, they got only 16% and 24% of the seats in the assembly, respectively.
In contrast, independents and newcomers to left-wing political parties and social movements had time to garner 60% of the vote.
Now the country is preparing to vote on a constitution created by him, which could bring about a massive change in Chilean society.