2.- Main Aspects Regulated by the Agreement for Social Peace and the New Constitution (the “Agreement”).
- The political parties guarantee their commitment to restoring peace and public order in Chile, respecting its institutions and human rights.
- It is agreed that a referendum will be held in April 2020 (the “initial referendum”) in which citizens will vote on two questions: (i) does the citizen want a new constitution, and (ii) if so, through what mechanism will the New Constitution be drafted.
This plebiscite would originally be held in April 2020, but it will finally be carried out on October 25 given the health crisis our country is going through as a result of COVID-19.
- Citizens will vote between two possible mechanisms (constituent bodies) to draft the New Constitution. The election of the members of the chosen body will be held in April 11th 2021.
- The mixed convention, which is composed of, in equal parts, elected citizens and congresspersons.
- The constitutional convention, which is entirely composed of citizens specifically elected to that effect.
- A commission (the “Technical Commission”) will be formed by the political parties that sign the Agreement, composed of, in equal parts, members chosen by the ruling and opposition parties. The purpose of this commission is to define such matters that are indispensable for implementing the Agreement.
- The sole purpose of the constituent body will be to draft the New Constitution, and once its purpose has been fulfilled it will be dissolved, without affecting the competence of other State bodies and agencies.
- The voting rules and regulations will be approved by a quorum of 2/3 of the members of the constituent body.
- Persons who are members of the constituent body that are currently public officials or hold a popularly elected office shall cease to hold their office. Additionally, no member of the convention can be a candidate for a popularly elected office for one year following the termination of his or her post in the constituent body.
- The constituent body shall operate for a term of 9 months, extendable for 3 additional months. The confirmation referendum shall be held 60 days following the drafting of the New Constitution.
- The New Constitution must be ratified by a referendum with a compulsory and universal vote by Chilean citizens (the “confirmation referendum”).
- The New Constitution will govern as of its enactment and publication. The current Constitution will be organically repealed. This means that the New Constitution will replace the current Constitution entirely.
- Legal amendment or constitutional reform bills necessary to implement the Agreement will be approved by the votes of the political parties signing the Agreement.
3.- Term Limits and Quorums Referred to in the Agreement.
The Agreement sets forth different term limits and quorums for adopting definitions:
- The Agreement provides that the initial referendum will be held in April 2020. This means that the current National Congress has a term of almost 5 months to agree on the constitutional reform and the supplementary laws that will allow this referendum to be held and the subsequent constituent process to take place.
- The constituent body will have a term of approximately one year (9 months plus 3 additional months as an extension) to carry out its entrusted task of drafting the New Constitution.
- The required quorum to adopt agreements is 2/3 of the members of the constituent body. It is also worth noting that according to the Agreement the constituent body cannot change the quorums or modify the procedures established for adopting its agreements and decisions.
- The term for holding the confirmation referendum of the New Constitution is 60 days from its approval by the constituent body. This referendum cannot be held 60 days before or after another popular vote will be or has been held.
- The Agreement does not provide for a term for appointing the Technical Commission or for the commencement of the constituent body’s tasks once its members have been chosen.