Chile’s constituent session suspended for lack of sanitary measures

Santiago de Chile, Jul 5 (EFE).- The lack of technical facilities and sanitary measures to prevent contagion led to the suspension of Chile’s constitutional drafting process Monday, a situation that caused criticism from the majority of constituents against the government.

The session should have started at 3:00 p.m. local time (18:00 GMT), but it was decided to suspend it because there was not enough space in the premises of the old National Congress, in Santiago, for the 155 lawmakers to work comfortably and without risk.

“It was something unusual, we arrived at the session and realized that the building’s facilities were not enabled to hold sessions respecting the health protocols that require a certain capacity,” lawmaker Fernando Atria told EFE.

The opposition constituents of the leftist Frente Amplio accused the government of “negligence” and asked in a public statement the resignation of the minister of the General Secretary of the Presidency Juan Jose Ossa.

According to current regulations, the Ossa is in charge of “providing technical, administrative and financial support for the installation and operation of the convention.”

“We demand that this Government deliver the explanations of the case to the Constitutional Convention and to all of Chile regarding the negligent management of the budget of more than 850 million pesos destined to the habilitation of work spaces,” they told the Frente Amplio.

For lawmaker Alejandra Perez, who has no affiliation to any party and is a member of the so-called “People’s List,” which brings together social leaders from the great protests of 2019, what happened this Monday “is a lack of respect.”

In an unprecedented milestone and with a system that privileged the lists of the great coalitions, non-militant citizens won 48 of the 155 seats.

The divided opposition from the center and the left won 53 seats, while the ruling right was the big loser in the elections, with 37, despite concurring in the elections together. In addition, there are 17 seats reserved for indigenous peoples. EFE


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