Latin American Weekly Report

23/07/2020 - Piñera’s coalition crumbles as defiant congress backs pension changes

Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera suffered a profound setback on 22 July when rebel members of his ruling right-of-centre Chile Vamos coalition teamed up with the opposition in the senate to drive through a pension initiative his government had fought tooth and nail. The quadripartite coalition is in disarray, with several defections following threats of disciplinary action. The bill must traverse the lower chamber again as it underwent changes in the senate, although this should be a formality. Piñera’s only option would then be to issue a veto or appeal to the constitutional tribunal, but given strong public support for the measure this would be politically incendiary for the already unpopular president and likely to trigger a wave of protests to rival those of last October.

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