Chile: unprecedented regional elections to move towards decentralization of the country

Aerial view of Santiago, June 12, 2021. In Chile, political power is concentrated almost exclusively in the region of Santiago, where 40% of the population lives.


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2 min

From the Atacama Desert in the north of the country to Patagonia in the south, for the first time in their history, the Chileans are called upon to elect their regional governors.

The first round took place in mid-May and the second round of these regional elections is taking place this Sunday, June 13, in 13 of the 16 regions of the country.

A step towards the decentralization of Chile, demanded by many inhabitants.

Because previously the regional leaders were appointed by the government.


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With our correspondent in Santiago,

Justine Fontaine

This is the third time in a year that Chileans have been called to the polls.

Last October, they said "yes" to the drafting of a

new Constitution

to replace the current text, inherited from the Pinochet dictatorship.

And a month ago, they elected a Constituent Assembly more diverse than ever, choosing many candidates from social and environmental movements.

Many elected officials to call for a decentralization of Chile.

► See also:

Constitutional vote in Chile: victory for the independents and the alternative left

Because today, with the exception of the Congress which is installed in Valparaiso, political power is concentrated almost exclusively in the region of Santiago, where 40% of the population lives.

The presidential campaign in the sights

So to strengthen local democracy, regional authorities are elected by direct universal suffrage for the first time this year.

However, it is difficult to say whether the voters will be there, in particular, because Congress has not yet defined precisely what the powers of these governors will be.

The result of the elections could in any case give an overview of the political balance of power between the right in power and the oppositions of the left, in view of the campaign for the presidential election, scheduled for the end of the year.


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