Weekly Report - 08 September 2022 (WR-22-36)

Boric shifts to the centre as Chileans reject constitution

Chile’s President Gabriel Boric suffered a body blow on 4 September when voters emphatically rejected a draft constitution drawn up by the constitutional convention in a national referendum. Boric had hitched his fortunes to the approval of the progressive draft constitution, arguing that the current constitution, drawn up in 1980 during the military dictatorship (1973-1990), precluded the sweeping reforms he had promised during his campaign. Less than six months after taking office, with his approval rating having slumped, Boric responded to the setback by shaking up his cabinet, removing and sidelining two of his closest allies from senior positions, and empowering traditional centre-left parties in his ruling alliance to try and improve relations with congress. But a late cabinet change in the face of fierce criticism from the right-wing opposition upset left-wing allies and left him looking weak and vacillating.

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