SANTIAGO – The outgoing president, Michelle Bachelet is ending her second non-consecutive term with an ambitious proposal for a new constitution for Chile.
On Tuesday, she sent the proposal to Congress to replace Gen. Pinochet-era constitution with one to guarantee equal pay for men and women and the right to strike for workers, just five days before she leaves La Moneda (the presidential palace).
Bachelet said her proposal would allow Chileans to challenge in court any violation of their new constitutional rights, from free education to the representation of indigenous people in Congress.
En cadena nacional, la Pdta. @mbachelet se refirió esta noche al envío al Congreso del proyecto de Nueva Constitución. Revisa los detalles y lineamientos de la propuesta por #UnaConstituciónParaChile, aquí: https://t.co/hMdCUdn9yo pic.twitter.com/rZpccrNUjb
— Prensa Presidencia (@presidencia_cl) March 6, 2018
“This bill establishes the inviolability of human dignity and the respect and protection of human rights, correcting a tremendous omission of the current text,” Bachelet said in a televised address to the nation.
The plan also calls for improved health care, education and social security. It would also increase rights to due process and the protection of private information.
It’s highly unlikely that the initiative will prosper because Bachelet lacks a majority in Congress, but it could force incoming president Sebastian Pinera to tackle those issues after he takes over the presidency on Monday.
Pinera, a conservative billionaire and former president elected to a new term in December, has said he was open to “perfecting” the constitution if a climate of political unity prevailed.
The current constitution was drafted during the 1973-1990 dictatorship.