Nearly 62% of Chilean voters chose to reject the Constitution drafted by an Assembly called on after the 2020 incidents that led to President Gabriel Boric Foont's election.
Following Sunday's outcome, the current Constitution from the Augusto Pinochet military dictatorship will remain in force. However, Boric had announced he would insist on having a newer, more progressive Magna Carta if this bill failed to be approved. He already summoned members of his coalition for an emergency meeting Monday to decide on the next steps in this regard.
Chile's current constitution was drafted in 1980, but since then, it was amended several times.
In 2020, then-President Sebastián Piñera called a referendum to create a new constitution amid social unrest and popular discontent. In October of that year, more than 78% of voters approved a plebiscite proposing constitutional change and in June 2021 they cast their ballots again to elect members of a constituent assembly.
The Constituent Assembly was the first in the world to have full gender parity and the first in the country's history to include seats designated for indigenous representatives.
Rejection won by 61.87% of the valid votes against 38.13% in favor of approval. Opposers to the too progressive document took to the streets Sunday evening with Chilean flags and honking horns.
Chile's 1980 Constitution was reformed in 2005 under then-President Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006). The proposed new Constitution included 388 whereby Chile would shift toward a welfare state and also from a democratic republic to a parity democracy, granting women at least 50% of all state bodies. It also defined the country as a Plurinational and Intercultural State, with the recognition of 11 peoples, who would have their respective indigenous regional autonomies and indigenous peoples' legal systems.
It also provided for the president to be reelected once, the elimination of the Senate to be replaced by a House of the Regions, among other novelties whereby Chile would become a Social and Democratic State of Law, guaranteeing social rights, such as education, health, housing, work and pensions, while indicating that the State must ensure the conditions for a voluntary and protected pregnancy, childbirth and maternity, and for a voluntary interruption of pregnancy.