In Chile, indecision rules while voters are divided on new constitution -poll

  • World
  • Friday, 10 Jun 2022

FILE PHOTO: Constitutional assembly members begin formally debating the motions for a new Constitution, in Santiago, Chile, February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado/File Photo

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Citizens planning to vote in favor of or against adopting Chile's new constitution are neck and neck while a larger percentage of the electorate remains undecided, according to a poll released on Thursday.

In October 2020, nearly 80% of the electorate voted to draft a new constitution to replace the current 1980 constitution that dates back to the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship. But support has fallen as controversial proposals and political infighting have made some voters wary.

The poll by the Center for Public Studies (CEP) shows that 25% would vote to approve the text, 27% would reject it, and 37% are undecided. Meanwhile, 11% said they did not know or did not answer.

"It is good to point out that the difference between the percentage of people who approve the new Constitution and those who reject it is not statistically significant," said Carmen Le Foulon, coordinator of the public opinion area of the CEP.

Voters said the main reasons for approving the constitution are feelings that the country needs "changes" and more social rights and justice.

The main reasons given for rejecting it are the constituents in charge of drafting the new text themselves and their work. Others simply disagree with the new constitution.

Undecided voters said the main reason for their indecision is a lack of information. The current draft text is being fine tuned and a final text is due early July. The plebiscite will be on September 4.

If the new constitution were to be rejected, the poll shows 42% of voters would want a new draft constitution, while 31% would want the current text to be reformed and only 15% would want the current magna carta to remain as is.

The survey was conducted with 1,355 personal interviews between April 13 and May 29, with a sample error of +/- 2.9%.

(Reporting by Natalia Ramos in Santiago; Additional reporting by Fabian Cambero in Santiago; Writing by Alexander Villegas; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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