The parity mechanism allowed the Constitutional Convention to be composed of an equal number of men and women; however, the mechanism for incorporating 5 per cent of persons with disabilities on the lists of political parties and independents did not lead to their inclusion in the drafting of a new Constitution.
This, taking into account that according to the electoral results of the elections held on May 15 and 16, people with disabilities (PeSD) will have only one representative within the Constitutional Convention, in a context in which this segment of the population obtained a low number of votes, considering the totality of people in a situation of disability that exists in Chile , which according to ENDISC II amounts to 2,606,914 people.
Specifically, only five of the convention candidates got more than 5,000 votes. Of note is the participation of María Soledad Cisternas, a well-known figure in the field of human rights, who obtained 12,642 votes, representing 17.32% of her list; however, due to the election system it was left out of the Constitutional Convention.
There are some elected candidates who ran with the aim of working for inclusion both in a broad sense of the term and in post of people with disabilities and that gives us hope of being considered some of our demands.
The latter, since these are candidates who are also caregivers, mothers or fathers of PeSD. Such is the case of the candidate elected by district 6, Mariela Serey, teacher of basic education, mother and caregiver of a person in a situation of disability, and founder of the association of informal caregivers “I Take Care”, or the well-known actress Malucha Pinto also elected.
Although we know that the active and effective political participation of people with disabilities is fulfilled when they are the ones who work for the drafting and direct elaboration of the new Magna Carta of the country, (according to the study “Candidates Constituent Convention in a Situation of Disability” prepared by the FChD), it is important to point out that the presence of caregivers will allow there to be some kind of representation , the one we need who are part of the world of disability.
For all the above, from the Chilean Foundation for Disability we believe that the mechanism of 5% of candidates in a situation of disability by list was not sufficient to guarantee the inclusion of PeSD in the Constitutional Convention.
Once again we are facing a process in which people with disabilities are excluded, leaving it to the programmatic fate of the candidates who were elected to find answers to their important and legitimate demands.
Just as the reserved seats allowed the incorporation of 17 representatives of indigenous peoples and the incorporation of independents allowed the presence of a significant number of people who did not come from political parties; from now on, those of us who are part of this group of the population and civil society organizations must work so that the 5% is maintained in the parliamentary elections (of deputies), and why not, it is transformed into reserved seats.
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