I. Main aspects regulated by the Political Agreement
The constitutional process includes two bodies in charge of preparing the Proposal for a New Constitution: The Expert Commission and The Constitutional Council.
The Expert Commission
- The Expert Commission shall be composed of 24 members of recognized professional, technical and/or academic experience and shall be composed on a parity basis. The members of the Commission shall be nominated in equal parts by the Chamber of Deputies and by the Senate, in proportion to the representation of the different political parties, and their nominations shall be approved by the vote of 4/7 of the members in office of the respective Chambers.
- The Expert Commission shall prepare the preliminary draft of the Proposal for a New Constitution, in the style of a master idea of the Constitution.. The decisions of the Commission are taken by a quorum of 3/5 of its members.
The Constitutional Council
- The Constitutional Council shall be composed of 50 elected members and is responsible for discussing and approving a Proposal for a New Constitution. The members of the Expert Commission will be incorporated into the Constitutional Council and may be heard in all its instances.
- The election of Constitutional Councilors will be held by direct vote in accordance with the electoral system applicable to the senatorial districts, under universal and mandatory voting.
- The election of Constitutional Councilors will have a parity system to ensure equal gender representation in the Constitutional Council.
- Independent candidates may be included in the open lists composed by the parties or party pacts.
- The Council will include supernumerary indigenous members, assigned according to the percentage of effective voting in the election of Constitutional Councilors.
- The constitutional norms proposed by the Constitutional Council shall be approved by a 3/5 of its members in office, and the final Proposal shall be voted by the same quorum.
- Once the preparation of the Proposal for a New Constitution is completed and before the harmonization phase, the Expert Commission shall submit a report to the Constitutional Council, in which it could formulate proposals to improve the wording and understanding of the norms of the Proposal. The report shall be reviewed by the Constitutional Council and its proposals shall be voted as follow:
- Proposals for rules are approved if obtain a quorum of 3/5 of the members in office of the Constitutional Council.
- Proposals for rules are rejected by 2/3 of the members in office of the Constitutional Council.
- Those proposals which are not in any of the above circumstances, will be reviewed by a Mixed Commission, which will be composed of 12 members, with an equal number of Experts and Councilors. The Mixed Commission shall resolve the dispute by a 3/5 vote of its members.
- If the Mixed Commission fails to resolve the discrepancy, the Expert Commission shall, within 5 days and with the vote by 3/5 of its members, submit a new proposal to the Constitutional Council for a vote in accordance with the general rules.
Finally, the Proposal for a New Constitution shall be ratified or rejected by citizens in a plebiscite with mandatory voting.
II. Institutional and fundamental bases
The Proposal for a New Constitution shall contain, at least, the following constitutional bases:
- Chile is a democratic Republic, whose sovereignty resides in the people.
- The State of Chile is unitary and decentralized.
- Sovereignty is limited by the dignity of human beings and the human rights recognized in international treaties ratified by the State of Chile and which are in force. The Proposal for a New Constitution recognizes that terrorism, in any of its forms, is in essence against human rights.
- The Constitution recognizes indigenous peoples as part of the Chilean nation, which is one and indivisible. The State will respect and promote their rights and cultures.
- Chile is a social and democratic State governed by the rule of law, whose purpose is promoting the common good; recognizing fundamental rights and freedoms; promoting the progressive development of social rights, subject to the principle of fiscal responsibility; and through state and private entities.
- National emblems of Chile are the flag, the coat of arms and the national anthem.
- Chile has three separate and independent Branches of Government:
- The Executive Branch, which will have exclusive initiative in matters of fiscal expenditure.
- The Legislative Branch, which will be composed of a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies, notwithstanding its specific faculties.
- The Judicial Branch, which will have jurisdictional unity and will respect final and enforceable judicial sentences.
- At least the following autonomous bodies shall be constitutionally recognized: the Central Bank, electoral justice, the Public Prosecutor and the General Comptrollership of the Republic.
- At least the following fundamental rights and freedoms shall be recognized: the right to life; equity before the law; the property rights in their various manifestations; freedom of conscience and worship; the best interest of children and adolescents; freedom of education and the preferential duty of families to choose the education of their children.
- The existence of the Armed Forces and the Forces of Order and Security, with express mention of the Carabineros of Chile and the Investigation Police, shall be enshrined in the Proposal for a New Constitution, with subordination to civilian power.
- The Proposal for a New Constitution shall establish at least four states of constitutional exception: state of assembly, state of siege, state of catastrophe and state of emergency.
- Chile is constitutionally committed to care for and conserve nature and its biodiversity.
It is worth to mention that there will be a Technical Committee of Admissibility, with the purpose of reviewing that the norms approved by the Expert Commission and/or the Constitutional Council do not breach the institutional and fundamental bases.
The Technical Committee of Admissibility will be composed of 14 jurists of notable professional and/or academic career, whom will be designated by the Senate from a single proposal made by the Chamber of Deputies. Both votes must have the support of 4/7 of the members in office of each Chamber.
The Technical Committee for Admissibility may review inadmissibility petitions submitted by 1/5 members of the Constitutional Council or by 2/5 members of the Expert Commission.
The Committee shall resolve the inadmissibility petitions considering the legal background, applying the institutional and fundamental bases and according to the norms and constitutional interpretation. Its resolutions shall be adopted by the absolute majority of its members and shall not be subject to appeal before any national or international body.
If the inadmissibility request is approved by the Committee, the challenged norm cannot be incorporated into the constitutional proposal. If the breach consists in the omission of any of the institutional and fundamental bases, and upon request, the Committee shall instruct the Expert Commission to prepare a proposal of said base, which will be discussed and voted by the Constitutional Council in accordance with the general rules.
III. Constitutional itinerary
- January 2023: The Expert Commission begins to operate.
- April 2023: Election of Constitutional Councilors, with mandatory voting.
- May 21st, 2023: The Constitutional Council begins its operation.
- October 21st, 2023: Presentation of the Proposal for a New Constitution.
- November 26th, 2023: Referendum to ratify or reject the Proposal for a New Constitution, with obligatory voting.
IV. Political parties subscribing to the Political Agreement for Chile
- Renovación Constitucional;
- Unión Demócrata Independiente;
- Evolución Política;
- Partido Demócrata Cristiano;
- Partido Radical de Chile;
- Partido Liberal de Chile;
- Partido Por la Democracia;
- Partido Socialista de Chile;
- Partido Comunista de Chile;
- Partido Comunes;
- Federación Regionalista Verde Social;
- Convergencia Social;
- Revolución Democrática;
- Acción Humanista;
- Movimiento Amarillos por Chile;
- Movimiento Demócratas, y;
- Movimiento Unir.
V. The Agreement
For more information, read and download the PDF here.