Drafting a new constitution for Chile

In October 2015, the Chilean President made a nationwide announcement to inaugurate the Constituent Process that would lead to a new Constitution replacing the one introduced in the Pinochet era. For the first time, the government decided to make the citizens the main actors of the process by encouraging their participation prior to any high level discussion on the new Constitution due to happen in 2017. Firstly, Chileans from all parts of the country were encouraged to hold debates on their vision for a new constitution as part of local meetings and citizens’ assemblies. By the end of June 2016, more than 8,500 Self-Organized Local Dialogues had already taken place, in Chile as well as among Chilean nationals living elsewhere. Secondly, the government appointed a Citizen Council of Observers, a group of 15 people responsible for overseeing the constituent process in its entirety. The CCO includes persons from different political and social backgrounds, from lawyers and scholars, to former athletes and singers, all of whom are committed to social, economic or political causes.