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  • Chileans Celebrate After Vote To Rewrite Constitution

People celebrate after hearing the results of the referendum on a new Chilean constitution in Valparaiso, Chile, on Oct. 25, 2020.
People celebrate after hearing the results of the referendum on a new Chilean constitution in Valparaiso, Chile, on Oct. 25, 2020.
Chileans have voted overwhelmingly in favor of drafting a new consitution to replace guiding principles imposed four decades ago under the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

The Electoral Service announced Sunday night that with a majority of the votes counted, some 78 percent approved rewriting the constitution while just under 22 percent were opposed.

About 79 percent supported having the charter be drafted by a convention of 155 elected citizens rather than a convention with half its members elected citizens and half members of congress.

In a speech to the country, center-right President Sebastian Pinera acknowledged the victory for those seeking a new charter.

He said, "It is the beginning of a path, which together we will have to go through to agree on a new constitution for Chile."

Thousands celebrated in a central square of Santiago, with similar gatherings held on the outskirts of the capital.

The referendum came after the outbreak of vast street protests that erupted a year ago in frustration over inequality in pensions, education and health care in one of South America's most developed nations.
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