Catalina Pérez (RD), vice president of the Chamber: “The challenge of delivering certainty is an effort that the Government must lead”

10After a process plagued by complexities, pressures, ideological disputes and constant disagreements between citizens and those who were elected to translate these social demands into a new Fundamental Charter, the political class was pressed and forced to force a constitutional agreement that, according to some official voices, did not satisfy any sector, and left the impression of precisely what the outbreak Social of 2019 judged and questioned harshly: that policy that is decided between four walls, with parties disconnected from reality, imposing terms and changing the rules of the game, at will.
Precisely, a diagnosis of this nature is made by the vice president of the Chamber of Deputies, Catalina Pérez, who referred to an agreement that more than raising the initial sketches of the process, also outlined the form and substance, agreeing much of the work in the future. In this regard, the parliamentarian of the Democratic Revolution (RD) acknowledged that the triumph of the Rejection in the last plebiscite of September 4 forced the ruling party to reaffirm the convictions of change, urging them to design a process in conditions different from the agreement of November 15, which it assumes, was much closer to the pretensions of the government alliance. sector that has had to give in to the empowerment of a right that now seeks to impose its own terms.
In this context, the vice president of the Chamber assumes that the country is going through a moment of “political inflection”, where the traditional parties live different processes of restructuring, a phenomenon that the parliamentarian recognizes in opposition sectors such as the DC, or the emergence of new spaces of representation such as the PDG or the Republican Party. But in addition, Pérez also recognizes the same in a ruling party that is also reordered, with regard for example to the recent exodus of more than 50 militants of Comunes, led by Deputy Emilia Schneider, to Social Convergence, and that refloated the old idea of a single party in the Broad Front.
Deputy, is the constituent agreement a reason to celebrate in the ruling party? How is your industry feeling about this process? Is there disagreement with the form and substance of this discussion?
-There is a bitter taste about the process, but there is also the conviction that Chile deserves a new Constitution, and sharing both ideas has been somewhat difficult, very much in line with the political moment we are living, after a plebiscite on September 4 that for us reaffirms the convictions of change, more forces us to design a process in conditions different from the process we designed on November 15. And we do so with the conviction that keeping open the possibility of transforming Chile also requires having a new Constitution that enables democratic debate, that manages to be able to lead the processes of change in Chile in the twenty-first century, and not be a straitjacket for transformations, such as the current Constitution of 1980.
Do you not think that there has not been enough self-criticism on the part of the ruling party and the progressive forces around the failed Convention and the failure of the September 4 plebiscite? What are the aspects that were done wrong by your sector, that allowed the empowerment of the right from the triumph of the Rejection?
I believe that Chile is experiencing a moment of political inflection, which is very characterized by a spirit more of impeachment than of constituting. I believe that there is an enormous political crisis of representation, which means that even those who have been called and elected to constitute a constitutional proposal that reflects a different Chile, are also removed in that process, in a cycle of great distrust.
In that sense, I think that, of course, much more could have been done, in terms of linking the urgencies of citizens and the new Constitution as a concrete response to them, in terms of public conversation, but I think that the result is also due to this political diagnosis of this corporate State that we have in Chile. And it is something that I think we have to take care of to face this new constitutional opportunity that ends up opening, not in the terms in which we would have liked, but in the terms in which it was possible, given the correlation of forces that exists at the institutional level and the absence of social pressure, to level of the streets in our country, which add up to a complex equation for progressive forces and change.
You are referring to civilizational minimums that should be the floor of the new constitutional proposal. Are they elements that strained the internal pro-government debate?
-It is relevant to diagnose on which floor we stand today, with respect to the floor on which we were standing yesterday, and having a critical evaluation of the conditions of the new agreement, which we like much less than that of November 15 that we defended with such conviction, also today the political conversation or from where it starts thanks to the mobilization, it also offers different civilizational minimums, and there parity, the participation of indigenous peoples or the social and democratic State of Law, are less questioned.
In that sense, how do you think it is possible to give certainties about the continuity of a constituent process, in the context of a political system in crisis? What is your vision in this regard? I think another phenomenon has to do with the reordering of political forces, which I think is happening on a full scale. That is, today the crisis that exists in the Christian Democracy is an example of that, the recomposition of right-wing parties, the emergence of Republicans or Team Patriota, or also the restructuring in progressivism or in the government alliance, which today is constituted as a single alliance, beyond the diversity it represents. So, there is a rearticulation and rearmament of political actors, which I also believe is another symptom of this moment of political inflection that we live in Chile, characterized by the emergence of new actors, the generation of populist discourses, the questioning of civilizational minimums, and this spirit of social destitution and maintenance of a political crisis. democratic and representational of which we have to take charge.
How do you observe the restructuring of your own sector, knowing for example the recent flight of more than 50 militants of Comunes towards Social Convergence – led by Deputy Emilia Schneider – and assuming possible new alliances within the Government? Could this restructuring negatively influence the leadership of the President and the continuity of the constitutional route?
I think that the challenge of delivering certainties and assurances is an effort that must be led by the Government and the President as head of state, but I believe that it is a responsibility of all democratic forces.  And in this need to deliver certainties and certainties, there is also a transformative vocation that is represented in the role that the Government fulfills, but also in the moment that our democracy lives, in how we are able to generate a new political cycle in Chile, from the spaces of representation, understanding it as a mechanism for transforming realities. in the context of many uncertainties.

How politics manages to provide certainties, at a time of uncertainty, I believe is the great challenge that the various forces of representation have, also forced to a new rearticulation, to a rearmament or revision of the foundations themselves within the parties and within the various public institutions.
-Now, and with regard to the anti-corruption agenda that you as a DR bench, with the support of other sectors, have promoted in the Chamber, in what could you contribute projects such as the transparent municipality – which has the support of the Executive – and strengthening the oversight capacities of the Comptroller, to avoid cases such as that of the former mayor of Vitacura, Raul Torrealba?
I think that the case of the former mayor of RN Raúl Torrealba is very illustrative of what is happening today in many municipalities of the country, only that this turns out to be at scandalous levels, where the antecedents that have been known account for how mechanisms and dynamics have been established to defraud, and as instances of oversight, Whether due to lack of skills or other reasons, they have not been able to stop it. And there I think Congress should take that post and take care of strengthening anti-corruption measures (…) Today we need the parties to have pronouncements against this and we need the National Congress to improve legislation in order to prevent cases like the ones we are seeing today.
Finally, is it part of your concern that the parties assume greater responsibility when it comes to sanctioning their militants who have been splashed by acts of corruption? Do you think it is ethical that, for example, in the recent election of National Prosecutor in the Senate, one of the UDI spokesmen is Senator Iván Moreira, who was charged – and later dismissed – for facilitating ideologically false ballots, in the framework of the Penta Case?
I consider it extremely complex when we have parliamentarians who have been convicted of corruption cases, where these parliamentarians also have a role to play when defining, for example, the next National Prosecutor. When we have elements like that, finally what gets muddy is confidence in the institutions, and the National Congress has not been up to the task, and when there is also no political and moral sanction on the part of parliamentary colleagues or by the parties to what these figures represent, the seriousness increases. Because it increases the feeling of complicity and also the feeling of disaffection on the part of citizens, of these processes. There are several names that we have known in similar conditions: Moreira, Zalaquett, Jovino Novoa, Jaime Orpis, to name a few people with political affinity, and whose organizations do not sanction their actions.
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Original source in Spanish

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