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  • A demonstration in Plaza de Armas, Santiago de Chile, Chile, as part of the campaign for the plebiscite. February 26th, 2020.

    A demonstration in Plaza de Armas, Santiago de Chile, Chile, as part of the campaign for the plebiscite. February 26th, 2020. | Photo: Twitter: @PCdeChile

Published 26 February 2020 (2 hours 15 minutes ago)

So far, polls indicate that the constitutional plebiscite will be approved by the majority of Chileans.

On Wednesday, the campaign for the constitutional plebiscite on April 26 will begin in Chile, a process that calls for democratization and the end of the enclaves of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990), which persist in the Latin American country.

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During the campaign, the country's political parties will broadcast their message house to house, in streets, on radio and television, to call on Chileans to vote for or against repealing the current Constitution.

So far, polls indicate that the constitutional plebiscite will be approved by the majority of Chileans: 67% of the population is in favor of a new constitution, compared to 27% who are against it, according to the consulting firm Cadem.

However, the social movements and supporters of the center and left suggest not to be ingenious, according to the country's progressive media.

"The coming months will be extremely polarised. Parties, especially those on the right-wing, will appeal to emotions such as fear, instead of raising a campaign of ideas, based on the people's benefits," told local press the academic Claudia Heiss, a specialist from the University of Chile.

"Today the campaign for the plebiscite on April 26th, where the communists voted, officially began: We invite everyone to vote "Approval." Dare to dream!"
 

The pre-plebiscite campaign, the most important process since 1988, when Pinochet's military dictatorship was ended, is taking place in a context marked by extreme violence and accusations against the Chilean security forces for human rights violations.

For the current government of President Sebastián Piñera, the plebiscite is the ideal opportunity to neutralize the serious crisis that the country has been experiencing since last October, which has so far left more than 30 people dead and thousands injured.

If the plebiscite is approved, the election of the constituents will be held in October. The new Constitution, which must be drafted in a maximum of one year, will be ratified in another plebiscite, this one with a compulsory vote.

Chile's current Magna Carta came into force during the Pinochet dictatorship and is seen as the origin of the inequality that affects the country. 

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