Latin American Weekly Report

25/03/2021 - ​Second wave threatens to sweep away Chile’s elections

There is a growing risk that the most important elections for 30 years in Chile could fall prey to the pandemic. Voters are scheduled to go to the polls on 10 and 11 April to choose 155 delegates to sit in a constitutional convention to draft a new constitution to supersede the magna carta drawn up under the military dictatorship led by Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). But around 75% of the population is now in full lockdown to try and contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). Not only is the number of infections peaking but the number of patients in intensive care is also at a record high. The government led by President Sebastián Piñera is reluctant to postpone the elections, but it would be unwilling to run counter to scientific advice if there is a real threat that the health system could be tipped over the edge by a large number of people voting in these elections.

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