Chile's Boric takes center stage as vote over new constitution nears

The rise comes as former President Michelle Bachelet, who is ending her term as head of the U.N. human rights office, has backed the proposal and President Gabriel Boric's government, which isn't legally allowed to campaign, has taken a more active role in disseminating information about the text. That greater prominence led Chile's comptroller's office to launch an investigation last week into alleged electoral interventionism, mainly regarding an information campaign by the Ministry of the General Secretariat of the Government, the presidency's communications office headed by spokeswoman Camila Vallejo.


Reuters | Updated: 01-08-2022 20:14 IST | Created: 01-08-2022 20:14 IST
Chile's Boric takes center stage as vote over new constitution nears

The race to approve or reject Chile's new constitution in September enters its final weeks as the "no" vote remains in the lead and progressive President Gabriel Boric and his government has taken a more active role in the race.

According to poll released Sunday by Cadem, 38% of voters plan to approve the new text, up from a low of 33% in late June. Despite weeks of gaining support, the "yes" vote dropped 1 point compared to last week and still trails those planning to reject by 10 points. The rise comes as former President Michelle Bachelet, who is ending her term as head of the U.N. human rights office, has backed the proposal and President Gabriel Boric's government, which isn't legally allowed to campaign, has taken a more active role in disseminating information about the text.

That greater prominence led Chile's comptroller's office to launch an investigation last week into alleged electoral interventionism, mainly regarding an information campaign by the Ministry of the General Secretariat of the Government, the presidency's communications office headed by spokeswoman Camila Vallejo. "The comptroller has to audit," Boric told reporters after the announcement. "But I have no doubt that the spirit in which we have acted is not in any case of interventionism, but of disseminating information."

The communications office declined to respond to inquiries from Reuters. Political analyst Cristobal Bellolio said the "yes" vote is linked to support for the government, which fell drastically after taking office in March, but has been recovering.

"The government is already gambling completely for trying to increase its popularity in these weeks," said Bellolio, listing recent announcements like the expansion of access to public health. The proposed constitution is a sharp contrast from the current Augusto Pinochet-era constitution that focuses on the free-market and centers instead on social rights, the environment and gender parity.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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