NewsGabriel Boric takes a swerve in his government after...

Gabriel Boric takes a swerve in his government after the triumph of rejection

The president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, announced changes in his cabinet this Tuesday after the triumph of the rejection in a plebiscite on the draft of the new constitution, a result that analysts see as punishment for his management.

At an event at the Palacio de la Moneda, Boric announced changes in six of the 24 ministries in his cabinet. The changes include the departure of Iskia Siches from the Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, the portfolio with the most political weight, in charge of public order and articulating the rest of the cabinet.

Siches is replaced by Carolina Tohá, who was Minister General of the Chilean government during the first government of Michelle Bachelet.

Another change within the “political committee”, the hard core of the Chilean government, is the departure of Giorgio Jackson from the General Secretariat of the Presidency (Segpres), in charge of relations with Parliament.

The new Segpres minister is Ana Lya Uriarte, who was chief of staff during the second government of Michelle Bachelet.

Jackson will now be in charge of the Secretary of Social Development and Family, a portfolio that remained in force after the resignation of Minister Jeanette Vega a week before the plebiscite.

The ministers of Health, Energy and Science, Technology and Innovation also left their posts.

“This is, without a doubt, one of the most complicated moments of my political career,” Boric said in remarks after the appointment. “Those who enter have a great task, we need a new government coordination and I want us to strengthen the coalition that supports us together.”

The progressive president, who took office in March with a historic vote and very high support but who has seen his popularity fall sharply, suffered a severe blow with Sunday’s result after having aligned himself with the option of approving the constitutional proposal.

With 99.99% of the tables scrutinized until Monday morning, the electoral authority reported that the “Rejection” of the text was imposed with 61.8% of the votes against 38.1% of the “Approve”, a result that far exceeded the estimates of all the surveys that for months indicated that the option of rejecting had an advantage.

“This creates another scenario, much more unfavorable for the government,” political analyst René Jara, from the University of Santiago, told Reuters.

“The political actors who feel like winners will have more strength to define the rules of the game, but we are going to see what the president’s ability will be to limit those wills and ensure the minimum that allows the Approval sector to feel represented and summoned,” he added.

On Sunday night, in a sober speech, Boric said that “the people of Chile have spoken and they have done so loudly and clearly.”

Towards a new constituent process

On Monday, the president met in the presidential palace of La Moneda with the presidents of both chambers of Congress and then with the Political Committee of his cabinet, plus the party leaders of the government coalition.

After the meeting, the president of the Senate, Álvaro Elizalde, told the press that all the parties, social movements and representatives of civil society would be convened “to promote a dialogue, which will allow us to convey certainty to Chile as soon as possible, establish a path of institutional dialogue to fulfill the commitment to move towards a Constitution”.

Mayors and governors also appeared on the summoned list. However, no right-wing opposition party confirmed attendance pending the announced change of cabinet that the president would carry out on Tuesday to face this new stage.

“What we obviously require is to establish the margins of this second opportunity so that citizens can really define what text represents them,” said Camila Vallejo, a government spokeswoman.

Sunday’s constitutional plebiscite left a clear message: the Magna Carta proposal drawn up by a Constitutional Convention, made up of 154 constituents elected on a parity basis and with reserved indigenous seats, did not convince the population.

The great protagonist of the changes will be the Congress, made up of 50% by the right. The rest is divided between independents, socialists and Christian Democrats.

“Finding a quick way forward would benefit the government, which has been hit hard by the results,” Mariano Machado, a risk analyst at Verisk Maplecorf, said on Sunday.

“Given the level of uncertainty and the ideological distance between the camps, it is very likely that there will be a deadlock in the search for a plan B,” says Machado, however.

The European Union reacted to the result of the referendum on Monday and stressed the need to move forward.

“The EU takes note of the commitment expressed by President Boric and across the political spectrum on the need to continue the constitutional process, in line with the desire of the Chilean people for a new constitutional agreement that commands the support of a large majority of citizens. “, the European Union spokesman said in a statement.

With information from AFP and Reuters

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