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Chileans vote for a new Constitution, under sanitary measures


The chilean were voting this Sunday to decide if they want a new constitution Y how it will be written, with mask and saving the healthy distance, due to restrictions to face the pandemic of the coronavirus.

He political agreement to open the door to a new magna carta arose after a wave of protests last year, sometimes violent, originating in claims that go from critics to the capitalist system until conditions improve in Health Y education.

In addition to the delay in the arrival of some polling station attendants, the sanitary restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic caused delays in the installation of the voting points, but did not prevent almost all of them from being open at 1300 GMT (10.00 local time) .

President Sebastián Piñera arrived early to vote and called on citizens to exercise their right to support the option of their choice, highlighting that the majority of Chileans want to perfect the Constitution.

The plebiscite is a democratic path, it is better, it is more fruitful and takes us to a better port than the path of violence, and I have the absolute conviction that the vast majority of Chileans believe in democracy, “he told reporters after issuing his vote.

Tonight, when we know the results, whatever the result, let us respect the decision of the people and make a strong and clear option for democracy and not for anarchy, “he added.

Suffrage and everything that it could unleash has a strong symbolic component, as it is seen as a definitive end to the 1980 Constitution, drawn up behind closed doors during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.

More than 14.8 million people, among Chileans and some 380 thousand resident foreigners, will be able to vote in 2,715 locations throughout the country.

After being postponed in April due to the spread of covid-19, the authorities decided to carry out the plebiscite under strict health protocols.

While some centers looked empty in local media images, others saw a high voter flow.

I’m so excited. After waiting so long for this process, after the plebiscite was achieved last year, which was postponed in April, from fear of a regrowth that will confine us again, it is so important that this historic event is happening today, “said Alma San Martin, a 26-year-old student after voting in downtown Santiago.

From the government palace of La Moneda, the Minister of Health, Enrique Paris, insisted on respecting the rules of care to avoid contagion during the process.

All voting centers in the center of the capital were disinfected and prepared with antiviral copper surfaces to reduce the risks of contagion, at a time when the country has already exceeded 500,000 infections and is close to 14,000 deaths.

The public transport system has extended its hours and will be free to facilitate the movement of people to the voting centers.

The nightly curfew in place to counter the spread of the virus has also been postponed so that people can go home.

The electoral authority previously reported that around 8:00 p.m. local time (2300 GMT) it would announce the result of the Chilean vote abroad and an hour later it would deliver the first official bulletin of local polling stations.