Chilean pact for new Constitution generates controversy

Santiago de Chile - Doubts surrounding the agreement for peace and a new Constitution are increasing in Chile, due to controversy between the signatories themselves, after the pact was rejected by opposition parties and social movements.

Andres Allamand, senator of the right-wing National Renewal Party, referred to the controversial issue of the two-thirds quorum, rejected by those who decided not to sign the agreement, in statements to the media.

Allamand assured that this proportion is intended to oblige constituents to agree on all points and that this does not imply that issues where consensus cannot be reached can be dealt with as separate laws, as some analysts and opposition parties who signed the agreement argue.

He further stated that the full text of the draft new Constitution must be approved by two thirds of the Constitutional Convention, body responsible for its drafting.

To further fuel the controversy, he revealed that if two-thirds are not reached for any of the norms, the convention will fail, meaning there would be no plebiscite to ratify the new text and so no new Constitution, and therefore, the current Constitution would continue in force.

That is the Constitution imposed under the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, precisely that which millions of Chileans are calling to remove, as it is the basis of the current social and political model they reject.

One of the first to publicly reject Allamand's statements was Jaime Quintana, president of the Senate, who accused him of destabilizing the agreement and throwing it to the ground, and added that 'he does not realize that he is destabilizing a government that is extremely weak.'

He also insisted that 'the final text of the new Constitution must be endorsed by citizens in a plebiscite,' and not by the Constitutional Convention.

Meanwhile, President of the Socialist Party Alvaro Elizalde said that if Allamand wants to maintain the Constitution of 1980, he should call to vote no in the plebiscite and stop looking for weaknesses to impose the positions of the right.

Liberal Party deputy Vlado Mirosevic considered that 'all the opposition must strongly defend compliance with the constitutional plebiscite in the agreed terms,' and criticized those who he said, 'want to boycott the agreement and maintain Pinochet's Constitution.'

From the Communist Party, which did not sign the agreement precisely because it did not agree on the fine print, Congresswoman Karol Cariola insisted that from the beginning this party has considered that the Constituent process should be transparent and include social movements.

And she pointed out that with Allamand's statements, right-wing forces have made it clear that their purpose is to cheat the people.

The President of the Party for Democracy, Heraldo Muñoz, pointed out that 'what really matters is to reach an agreement that will allow us to have a new Constitution in democracy, and that will identify us all,' and played down the importance of what was expressed by Allamand, although the alarm bells have already sounded.

Meanwhile, government spokeswoman Karla Rubilar said she hoped that Congress 'will be able to agree' to settle these issues.

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