the Parliament convenes a referendum to revise the Pinochet Constitution

After two months of social protest, government coalition and opposition parties managed to reach an agreement. The referendum will take place in April 2020.

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This is one of the main demands of the social movement that has shaken Chile since mid-October: to revise the Constitution inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). A referendum will be held in April 2020 in this regard, announced the Senate Speaker, Jaime Quintana, on the night of Thursday 14 to Friday 15 November.

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After several hours of negotiations in Parliament, the government coalition and the main opposition parties signed a "Agreement for peace and the new constitution" which provides for a referendum with two questions: one on the revision or not of the Constitution and the other, if any, on the method to draft it, explained Mr. Quintana.

This second question will have to determine which body will be in charge of drafting the new text, a "Constitutional Mixed Commission" or a "Convention or constituent assembly". The eventual election of the members of these drafting bodies for the future Constitution will take place in October 2020, at the same time as the municipal and regional elections.

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"A victory against violence"

"It is a response of politics in the most noble sense of the term, the policy that thinks of Chile, which takes its destiny in hand and which assumes its responsibilities"said Quintana, a member of the Center for Democracy Party (center-left opposition), alongside other leaders of Chilean political parties – with the exception of the Communist Party.

"We are happy to have reached an agreement that marks a victory against violence"assured Jacqueline van Rysselberghe, President of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI, Conservative), a pillar of the coalition supporting President Sebastian Piñera.

The agreement came in a Congress where no bloc has a two-thirds majority needed for a constitutional revision and after two months of violent popular protests that have left twenty-two dead and thousands wounded.

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