Chile reports low turnout in Constituent Assembly elections – 16/05/2021 – Worldwide

Due to the time zone, Chilean polling stations are starting to open earlier in the south of the country, an hour behind the rest of the country. So, following a local tradition, polling officials from the main Punta Arenas polling center opened the first ballot and shouted the name of the winner on this paper, in a tally that takes place in parallel with the systematic scrutiny of the votes. printed.

There the name of a Mapuche woman, Natividad Llanquileo, 36, was called out, making her the first to receive a vote to become a member of the assembly that will rewrite the country’s constitution.

In this election, which also decides on the choice of mayors, councilors and regional governors, a quota of 17 seats is reserved for representatives of the peoples of origin, who will participate for the first time in the drafting of the Chilean Charter. And every time a Mapuche made his name scream, there was a party, a euphoria that contrasts with the low overall turnout in Chilean elections.

As the votes were counted across the country, the mayor of the Santiago metropolitan region, Felipe Guevara, said that “it will hardly be possible to access ballot boxes similar to those in the plebiscite” last October, which was 50.95%. At that time, the Chileans approved the formation of the Constituent Assembly, whose members are now defined. Throughout the day, Chilean TV stations interviewed election officials in various parts of the country who reported little movement in polling centers.

Thus, the two election days did not reflect the fury of the street protests that began in October 2019, demanded the formulation of a new Constitution and only slowed down thanks to Covid.

A survey by the Cadem Institute had already shown that only 52% of respondents had declared their intention to vote, and only 46% said they were interested in the election – in Chile, voting is not compulsory.

In total, the vote, divided into two days to avoid agglomerations, defines the 155 legislators who will have a two-year mandate to prepare the document that will replace the one formulated under the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990). In addition to the indigenous quota, there will be parity between men and women.

With 40.29% of the polls counted, the list of independent candidates, without party ties, had obtained 46 seats. Second, there was the right-wing party list Vamos por Chile, with 38. In the sequence, left-center and center-left lists: Apruebo Dignidad (30) and Apruebo (24).

This weekend’s election also served as a preview of the dispute between the pre-presidential candidates, whose election takes place in November. Pamela Jiles, member of the Left Humanist Party, caused a sensation by accompanying her husband, Pablo Maltés, candidate for governor, to the polling station.

Although, according to a survey by the Ipsos Institute, 52% of Chileans still consider themselves uninformed about the names that should run for Piñera’s estate, Jiles is ahead in recent surveys, like that of the Instituto Cadem and from Ipsos himself.

Not respecting the electoral law, the MP called on voters to vote for her husband. In addition to committing an illegal act, she insulted the president with profanity, calling him a “murderous son of a bitch”.

Jiles, a former TV presenter, has 18% of the voting intentions for the president. Daniel Jaude of the Communist Party comes in second, with 11%, followed by right-wing Joaquín Lavín, with 10%.

During the vote this Sunday, Jaude commented on Jiles’ speech. “Cordiality and bravery are different things. I do not see political debate in exchange for insults and I have not seen any political idea defended. The Chilean electorate has announced the opening of an investigation to determine whether the MP will be punished.

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