World, Americas

Chileans flood streets to celebrate referendum result

Some 78% of Chileans voted in favor of scraping dictatorship-era constitution in Sunday's plebiscite

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 26.10.2020
Chileans flood streets to celebrate referendum result


Thousands of Chileans have taken the streets of capital Santiago to celebrate the outcome of the plebiscite as the vast majority voted to replace the constitution dating back to the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.

Electoral Service of Chile announced late Sunday that 78.27% of voters approved the change, while 21.73% voted against.

Nearly 15 million, around 51%, people participated in the plebiscite.

"Until now the Constitution has divided us. Starting today, we must all collaborate so that the new Constitution is the great framework for unity, stability and the future," President Sebastian Pinera said in a televised speech at the presidential palace of La Moneda along with his Cabinet.

"Today we have once again demonstrated the democratic, participatory and peaceful nature of the spirit of Chileans and the soul of nations, honoring our tradition as a republic," Pinera added.

The president accepted demands early November to change the constitution after some protests, which began in response to a now-suspended 4% transport fare hike, turned violent on Oct. 19.

After a year of street protests, many Chileans finally see the possibility of transforming the politics of a country that has long been regarded as a model of economic growth and stability in Latin America, but which has grown to be one of the most unequal.

For a large sector of the population, the 1980 Constitution, which encourages privatization and reduces the size of the state, is the origin of Chile's social inequalities.

However, some right-wing political parties who oppose the process have said a change to the Constitution could undermine the health of the economy and social development.

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