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News > Chile

Chile: COVID-19 Patients Won’t Be Able To Vote In Plebiscite

  • A woman demands a new constitution in Santiago, Chile, January 14, 2020.

    A woman demands a new constitution in Santiago, Chile, January 14, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 28 August 2020

The Sebastian Piñera administration justified its decision on public health grounds.

Chile’s Interior Minister Victor Perez Friday announced that people infected with COVID-19 will not be able to vote in the next constitutional plebiscite in October.


Chile: The Campaign for the Constitutional Plebiscite Kicks Off

Although the House of Representatives’ President Diego Paulsen first indicated that there was time to legislate on the matter, the Sebastian Piñera administration ruled out this possibility.

“It is absolutely unfeasible to carry out legislation to modify substantial aspects of our electoral system just 60 days before the elections,” Victor Perez said.

“There are health-related reasons that the Health Minister will inform at some point. We will have to comply with that decision.”

The Electoral Council’s President Patricio Santamaria proposed "home vote" for people with COVID-19 and assured that there was still time to legislate. “Personally, I would make the effort to do it," he said.

The plebiscite, which was delayed in April due to the COVID-19 outbreak, will ask Chileans whether they want a new constitution drafted by either only members of the Congress or a joint convention that will include equal parts of elected citizens and active lawmakers."

If the "No" option wins, the current Constitution, imposed during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973-1990), will continue in force. As of today, about 70 percent of citizens have said that they will go to the polls, despite the pandemic.

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