Sebastian Pinera’s governing coalition suffered heavy losses last month with the election of representatives to draft a constitution.
The outgoing president of Chile has urged 155 delegates to run a new constitution for the South American nation to abandon the “politics of the trenches”, engage in an open dialogue and reach agreements.
In his annual state of the nation address on Tuesday, Judge President Sebastian Pinera said he would convene the new body “in the coming days.”
He hoped that the Constitutional Convention would strictly respect the limits and rules of its mandate and preserve the rights, opportunities and freedoms of all Chilean citizens.
” An agreement will only be possible if we are willing to talk and listen to each other and abandon the politics of the trenches so that history (the convention) remembers as those who have powerful agreements and a better future for Chile forged, ‘he said.
Last month, the Chilean was instructed choose representatives to replace the current constitution, written in the 1980s during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
The representatives – who included more than 1300 candidates – have nine months to write a new document. It will then be submitted to a compulsory House of Assembly.
“I want to participate in any way in shaping the future of our country,” voter Monica Manriquez (83). Al Jazeera said from a polling station in Santiago on May 16. “Elections define the fate of a nation in an important way.”
While Pinera’s ruling Vamos coalition in Chile promised to win at least one – third of the seats of the Constitutional Convention, it suffered a shocking loss during the ballot box.
Most seats went to left-wing independent candidates, including many from social groups that came out of it the protests of 2019 against inequality.
In his speech, Pinera said that while he respects the body’s autonomy, he hopes to protect water and property rights, along with rights to health, quality education, housing, employment and social benefits.
Pinera also announced plans on Tuesday to pass a same-sex marriage bill that has been stuck in the historically conservative country for years.
“I think the time for equal marriage has come in our country,” he said during his speech.
“All people, regardless of their sexual orientation, will be able to live, love and shape a family with all the protection and dignity they need and deserve.”
His government’s popularity has increased amid poverty and unemployment linked to coronavirus, and also because of efforts to stop citizens from withdrawing their privately owned pensions.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, the country has so far reported more than 29,300 COVID-19 deaths and more than 1.3 million cases.