Chile’s Independent and opposition candidates have secured about two-thirds of seats to re-jig the nation’s constitution.
This comes after Government-backed candidates finished with only a fourth of the seats; falling short of the number required to halt constitutional changes.
Following a landslide of votes by the citizens to rewrite the constitution in a referendum last year, the recent announcement is a welcomed development for Chileans at large – who felt changes needed to be made to replace what dates back to Gen Pinochet’s military rule.
Protests had also ensued to this course, and had triggered a fare hike on the Santiago metro to the dismay of Chileans.
Right-wing President, Sebastián Piñera, also stated that the ruling was a landmark one, where citizens had spoken up – passing a clear message.
The Constitutional Convention is made up of 155 citizens, and it is the first in the world to stipulate parity between male and female members. Proposals will require two-thirds approval.
Statistical results showed that 98.3% of the votes counted, with independent candidates securing 48 seats, the left 28, the centre-left 25, and the right-wing coalition 37. Also, 17 seats have been set aside for representatives of indigenous groups, who are not mentioned in the existing charter.