More than 2,000 requests to rewrite the Chilean constitution

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Santiago (AFP)

More than 2,000 hopefuls have applied to be selected for the commission that will rewrite Chile’s dictatorship-era constitution, the top electoral body said on Monday.

Candidates have until midnight to register their interest, after which the electoral service will publish the official list.

The 14 million eligible voters will then elect on April 11 the 155 members of the Constituent Assembly who will rewrite the constitution, which dates from the reign of military dictator Augusto Pinochet (1973-90).

Of the 2,223 candidates to date, 177 are natives, vying for the 17 places reserved for their communities.

Indigenous people represent 12.8% of Chile’s 18 million inhabitants.

Chileans voted overwhelmingly in October to rewrite the constitution, which had been one of the main demands of protesters who rose in October 2019 to lead months of protests against social inequality.

An earlier law passed by Congress held that the commission should be shared equally between men and women.

It is a crucial year for Chileans who will return to the polls on November 21 to elect a successor to President Sebastian Pinera, who cannot stand for re-election.

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