translated from Spanish: High level of participation marks citizen consultation: majority leans towards new Constitution and Constitutional Convention

A process that exceeded all the forecasts regarding its participation was the 2019 citizen consultation organized by the Chilean Association of Municipalities. Voluntary voting, which is not legally binding but gives a clear signal to La Moneda and the political class, has summoned more than two million people, according to sources linked to the process, adding digital voting plus face-to-face voting.
Around 7 p.m., AChM delivered the first results, corresponding to the 29 communes that occupied the platform, implemented by E Voting, with 1,055,044 votes. These released data indicate a clear majority in favor of a new Constitution, with 846,110 votes to 80,378 rejecting it. As for the mechanism, the view was clear in favour of a Constitutional Convention fully integrated by fully elected citizens for this purpose with 345,393 votes versus the 138,647 who prefer the Mixed Convention.
In addition, the majority was also inclined to vote compulsory and a reduced VAT for necessities on the other issues of the institutional ballot.
In the list of three social priorities, preferences were aimed at improving pensions, improving the quality of public health, as well as access and quality of public education, according to the first results.
Task for The Coin
On the side of the participating mayors, there was full satisfaction, especially considering that the process was completed in 226 communes across the country, and was driven by buildings of all political colors.
«The result is unlay, it is a process that many tried to boycott. Some said ‘don’t vote because this is a fraud’ and we put up a process in a couple of weeks because we believe this was an opportunity to listen to people,» the president of the Chilean Association of Municipalities, Germán Codina, told CNN Chile.
His colleagues shared the analysis. «The municipalities have taken out the task,» said Felipe Delpin, mayor of La Granja, while Santiago Rebolledo, building of La Cisterna, stressed that «the call has been a success».
The level of participation was valued by the mayor of Santiago, Felipe Alessandri, who noted that the number of voters is «surprising, maybe we are tied with the last municipal election where I was elected, this shows that people are eager to want participate,» the building said at 24 Hours.
In Puente Alto, for example, 120 thousand people voted, the largest number in the country level. Other communes such as Auñoa stood out for their high percentage of turnout relative to the 2017 electoral roll, reaching 39.6%
For his part, the communist mayor of Recoleta, Daniel Jadue, stressed that participation «almost ties with the vote of the last municipal.» In addition, the results represented, in his view, «a defeat for the defenders of Pinochet’s Constitution» and he was confident that in the next April vote the results will be repeated, although not exactly in the same percentage.
Regarding the steps that are coming, Rebolledo is angry in pointing out that «now it is time for La Moneda to listen to the people and also the Congress.» And in this task the municipalities will again be protagonists. Hence the words of Codina, noting that «here the curtain is not lowered, this is the beginning of a path because the municipalities are going to stand for what asks for citizenship».
Faults, controversy and call to Servel
Just as in previous days the controversy was installed by the faults of the platform enabled by Maipú, on this day there were faults in some communes, as in Florida. In this case, Mayor Rodolfo Carter offered apologies, and announced the length of the vote until 9.m. «We don’t know if because of the excess traffic by people who want to vote or by a cyber attack or a hacker,» he said.
Another factor that marked the day was the decision of some communes such as Las Condes, Vitacura or Lo Barnechea – all led by mayors of Chile Vamos – who decided to exclude the constitutional issue of the ballot. In Las Condes, neighbors grouped in self-summoned lobbying installed a symbolic urn in front of the municipality with the missing questions in the consultation.
However, other officers’ ediles had no problems with such consultations. «We think it’s an important input before April, and you need to know what our neighbors are thinking,» the mayor of Santiago said.
During the day, there was also a wake-up call to the Servici Electoral (Servel), as expressed by the mayor of Puente Alto, who called on Congress to update the law. «The Servel did not give us an updated pattern, guarding that the law did not allow it to do so, the Civil Registry also did not give us the information; it is contradictory if we want to have a healthy and robust democracy (…) Citizen consultations are here to stay, but what needs to start is to improve them,» he said.

Original source in Spanish

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