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Chile: Boric's disapproval reaches 60% and majority wants new Constitution, survey finds

Chilean President Gabriel Boric's approval rating would be the lowest the president has registered since he took office on March 11

September 12, 2022 5:49pm

Updated: September 12, 2022 9:35pm

The approval rating of Chile's president, Gabriel Boric, fell to 33% after the plebiscite held in early September, the lowest figure the president has registered since he took office on March 11.

The "Plaza Pública" poll, conducted by the consulting firm Cadem, found that 60% disapprove of the former deputy and former leftist student leader’s management, while 33% approved of his work, 3% were indifferent, and 4% did not answer.

The majority of respondents rated as positive or very positive the cabinet reshuffle that took place last week in Boric's ministerial team.

The survey also revealed that 67% of those polled want a new constitutional text for Chile, preferably from a Mixed Constitutional Convention, that is, half elected and half expert. On the other hand, 27% would presumably prefer a document totally elected by the citizenry and 20% prefer a combination of Congress and experts.

When respondents were asked about the main reasons for voting "I approve" of the new Constitution, the main arguments were the social rights in education, health, and housing (58%) enshrined in the bill, and because "the country needs structural changes" (56%).

On the other hand, the main reasons for rejecting the new constitution were due to the management of the constituent process (40%), and plurinational and indigenous autonomies (35%).

Other reasons included the disapproval of President Boric's government (29%), the instability and uncertainty generated by the proposal (24%), the restrictions to freedom and private property in health, education, pensions, and housing (13%), and because "the country is on the wrong track in the economy, crime, and Mapuche conflict" (13%).

For the time being, Chile will maintain the same system of laws approved during the de facto government of the military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). The current Constitution dates from 1980 but was reformed in 2005, already in democracy, during the presidency of Ricardo Lagos.

After the majority rejection by the people of the proposed new Constitution, Chilean President Gabriel Boric congratulated the citizens for "trusting in democracy" and assured them that in his country "the institutions work."

The leftist president also asked for the collaboration of the opposition political forces and committed himself to facilitating an agreement that would allow for a new text approved by all. He also announced that there will be changes in his cabinet.

"I commit myself to put everything on my side to build a new constituent itinerary," Boric said in a message to the nation after a quick vote count.