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Chile Says No to Revolution

This month, Chilean voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposed new constitution. While disinformation played a part in the outcome, the draft's far-reaching reforms alienated many voters who otherwise would have supported the rights it sought to enshrine.

MEXICO CITY – The popular rejection of Chile’s proposed new constitution was expected. Its magnitude was not. This month, nearly 62% of the 13 million voters who turned out said no to the draft, which was to replace the constitution written during Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship.

The overwhelming repudiation of the new constitution is a blow to President Gabriel Boric, who supported it. Moreover, it clearly showed that the Constitutional Convention that drafted it went far beyond the aspirations and convictions of the Chilean electorate.

Boric, a former left-wing legislator who was elected last year, championed the draft written by an assembly largely comprising his allies and companions. As such, he is partly responsible for its failure. While he has already announced a cabinet reshuffle following the referendum loss, he will now be forced to make more tough decisions: which policies to pursue and advisers to keep, and how to keep the reformist promises he made during his campaign.

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