Chile rejects proposed left-wing constitution in Sunday vote

Chile rejects proposed left-wing constitution in Sunday vote

Chileans decisively voted down a new constitution Sunday that would have instituted a host of left-wing reforms.

Citizens opposed the new constitution by a 62%-38% margin, according to official returns. It would have replaced the constitution that was originally put in place during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1981.

The vote stymies a major initiative of leftist millennial President Gabriel Boric, who was elected in December and took office in March.

“As president, I receive this message with a lot of humility,” Mr. Boric reportedly said in a televised address Sunday night. He went on to say that political and institutional leaders “must work harder with more dialogue, more respect and affection” until the nation reaches a consensus ”that unites us as a country.”

Vlado Mirosevic, a spokesperson for the approval camp, said Sunday, “We recognize this result and we listen with humility to what the Chilean people have expressed.”

NPR reported that the text of the new constitution called for legalized abortion, gender parity in government offices, the abolition of Chile’s Senate and the establishment of autonomous Indigenous territories.

It would have also called for universal health care, the right to decent housing, education and pensions, all of which would have brought on steep tax increases.

While the nation is socially conservative, NPR reported that the proposed constitution was written by a special assembly made up mostly of leftists and progressives.

• This article was based in part on wire service reports.