Chile promises to hold referendum on new constitution, in response to protests
Chile said on Friday that next year it will hold a referendum on replacing the country’s dictatorship-era constitution – a key demand of protesters after nearly a month of sometimes-violent civil unrest, AFP reported.
The current constitution, in force since 1980 and enacted by the former military junta of Augusto Pinochet, has been changed numerous times in the years since. However, it does not establish the state’s responsibility to provide education and healthcare – two demands made by the millions of Chileans who have taken to the streets recently.
Lawmakers in Chile’s National Congress agreed early Friday to hold the plebiscite in April 2020, after hours of negotiations between the governing coalition and opposition parties.
The referendum will ask voters whether the constitution should be replaced and, if so, how a new charter should be drafted.