Michelle Bachelet said that a total consensus for a new Constitution in Chile is impossible: “Let's not show movies”
The former president affirmed that it is necessary to seek agreements “as broad as possible” on “a common home”
Cristián Torresfrom Santiago, Chile< /i>
Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile for two terms
Michelle Bachelet made her position known in the face of the new procedure that seeks to install a new Constitution in Chile, where he also referred to his first attempt to reform the text of the Fundamental Charter of his country.
In the midst of the activity called the “Strategy and Prospective Roundtable for Chile”, organized by the Commission for Future Challenges at the National Congress in Santiago, Michelle Bachelet stated that, Despite the fact that a new Constitution must be drawn up with the intention of being a “common house” for the citizens, the fundamental text will undoubtedly generate discrepancies. “I agree that a new Constitution has to be the common house; however, I am not sure that it can be the common home of all, because not all of us want the same thing about the model of society, the economic model”, she said.
“I think that You have to make the greatest effort to have as much common home as possible, but let's not show movies, because there are differences”, Bachelet emphasized, stressing that such disagreements are valid, “because we are in a democracy”.
Bachelet also highlighted the constitutional process that she carried out during her second government, and highlighted it as an example of “how the country can manage to innovate to channel a key discussion for the future of the country”. During her participation in the activity, she highlighted the importance of the role that the State should have in a process of these characteristics. “Without a state perspective, without a long-term perspective, we are destined to run into small obstacles.”
File image of a meeting of the Constitutional Convention in Santiago, Chile. February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Iván Alvarado
Due to the above, he valued the debate opened by the instance: “Institutionalizing a reflective work of anticipation is a necessity of modern states. It is a step in the right direction: certainties must be maximized in the face of changing horizons”. “It is also what will help us create agreements beyond electoral times and favor national pacts. Good politics will win, ” he added.
Referring to the first attempt, in 2015 and which was denied by the opposition at the time, he said that it was an opportunity to open up a necessary debate. “We were able to bring an extremely technical discussion to the neighborhood plazas. In other words, we found that it is possible to address complex issues with a State perspective. No political group was excluded, the institutionality was not broken”, he indicated. Along these lines, he stressed that “beyond the results, a set of paths that previously seemed impossible were set in motion. It is a discussion that is still open, but the important thing is that Chilean democracy showed its enormous potential”, warned the former head of state.
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The committee of experts was elected
During this week, the Chilean Congress completed the process that elected the 24 constitutional experts, whose mission will be to draft a draft that will be presented to the Constitutional Council. However, one of the arguments that has been used especially by analysts and that led the country to reject the first constitutionalist adventure was due to the fact that the draft new Constitution presented had little participation of expertsin the writing. There are 12 men and 12 women, fulfilling a parity quota. Among them, there are 21 lawyers, a commercial engineer, a sociologist and a journalist. Most graduated from private universities, nine of them from the Catholic University of Chile and only four studied outside the capital. One of the most controversial names is that of the former Minister of Justice, Hernán Larraín, as he is a historic leader of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI). He was also a senator for 24 years.
Former Chilean Justice Minister Hernán Larraín in a file photograph. EFE/Alberto Valdés
His arrival at the Committee of Experts generated controversy due to his relationship with Colonia Dignidad and his defense of Paul Schäfer, despite the pedophilia network led by the German settler in Villa Baviera and the use of his enclave as a detention and torture center during the dictatorship.
Apart from the discussion about the members that will make up the constitutional committee, Bachelet valued the progress from the experience acquired. “Institutionalizing a reflective work of anticipation is a necessity of modern states. It is a step in the right direction: certainties must be maximized in the face of changing horizons”. “It is also what will help us create agreements beyond electoral times and favor national pacts. Good politics will win,” he added, along with recalling some of his experiences on the matter.
“Chile has actors willing to tackle new challenges, with enormous capacities and an institutional framework that can put itself in tune when there is clarity from the north to reach”. “Pessimism has a solution: it ends in joint work. There are no small countries, there are countries with or without agendas (…) to think about tomorrow we must have solid ethical foundations”. Finally, he emphasized remembering that “this year marks the 50th anniversary of the coup. The deep division that Chilean society experienced is a huge ballast to project itself to a fuller society. That is why it is so important to process our differences in democracy and have an essential agreement on the culture of human rights, ”he stressed.