Chile's legislature approves bill to launch new constituent process
Chamber of Deputies of Chile (photo credit: Agencia Uno)
The Chilean Chamber of Deputies, on Wednesday, January 11, with 109 votes in favor, 37 against and two abstentions, approved a bill that launches a new constituent process to replace the country’s dictatorship-era constitution. [...] The bill had already been approved in the Senate.
The bill calls for the creation of a Commission of Experts of 24 members, a Constitutional Council of 55 members, and a Technical Admissibility Committee for redrafting Chile’s new Magna Carta.
In the first step, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate will elect twelve members each for the Commission of Experts. The experts will draw up a preliminary draft of the future constitution. They will begin working on March 6 and will have three months to complete the task.
On May 7, citizens will vote to elect the members of the Constitutional Council on a gender parity criterion. Elections will be mandatory. Seats reserved for Indigenous Peoples will be added to the council according to percentage of the total national vote.
The members of the Constitutional Council will be in charge of writing a new constitution on the basis of the draft proposed by the Commission of Experts. They will take office 30 days after their election and will have five months to fulfill their mission. Any contradictions will be addressed by a mixed commission of experts and councilors.
The Technical Admissibility Committee, made up of 14 professionals, will also begin functioning on March 6. It will have the role of ensuring respect for the 12 institutional bases reached as part of the “Agreement for Chile,” signed by the majority of political parties with parliamentary representation.
The final draft of a new constitution will be put to a mandatory popular referendum for ratification on December 17, when all citizens aged 18 and above will vote to declare themselves “in favor” or “against” it, instead of “approving” and “rejecting” it.
Read the full article here: Peoples Dispatch