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Constitution of Chile

__NOTOC__The current Political Constitution of the Republic of Chile, approved by Chilean voters in a tightly controlled plebiscite on September 11, 1980, under the presidency of Augusto Pinochet, effective March 11, 1981 and amended July 30, 1989, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005, replaced the earlier constitution of 1925. In its original permanent dispositions, it gave the President of the Republic a large amount of power; however, some of these dispositions, such as the power of dissolving the Lower Chamber of Congress and serving eight year terms with possibility of reelection, were modified or eliminated after 1990, when the country regained its democracy and the Congress was reestablished. It created some new institutions, such as the Constitutional Tribunal and the controversial National Security Council (COSENA).

In its temporary dispositions, the document ordered the transition from the former military government, with Augusto Pinochet as President of the Republic, and the Legislative Power of the Military Junta , to a civil one, with a time frame of eight years, during which the Legislative Power would still be the Military Junta. It set the first eight year presidential term for Pinochet, with a plebiscite in the eighth year, in which only one candidate, nominated by the Junta, would be accepted or not. The candidate, as expected, was Pinochet himself. While the steps to follow in the case of a triumph of the "yes" option, which the document obviously anticipated, were clearly delineated, the steps for the "no" triumph were less so, but still clear enough that no serious doubt emerged when the "no" option actually was victorious in the 1988 plebiscite.

After the plebiscite, several modifications to the Constitution were agreed and subjected to referendum, among them a simplification on the mechanism of future modification.

In 2005 over 50 reforms were approved, which eliminated some of the remaining undemocratic areas of the text, such as the existence of non-elected Senators and the inability of the President to remove the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. These reforms led the President to controversially declare Chile's transition to democracy as complete. However, the anti-terrorist measures of it remained in force.

Timeline of Constitutions

Reglamento para el arreglo de la Autoridad Ejecutiva Provisoria de Chile 1811

Reglamento Constitucional 1812

Reglamento para el gobierno Provisorio 1814

Constitucion de 1818

Constitucion de 1822

Constitucion de 1823

Ensayo Federal de 1826

Constitucion de 1828

Constitucion de 1833 - Written among others by Mariano Egana and Manuel Jose Gandarillas

* Reinterpreted after the 1891 Civil War augmenting the power of the congress

Constitucion de 1925 - Written among others by Arturo Alessandri Palma and Jose Maza

Constitucion de 1980 - Written among others by Jaime Guzman

*Has been reformed in 1989, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

See also

Chilean transition to democracy


Brief review of Chile's constitutional history - Chile's Library of Congress (in Spanish)

External links

[https://www.presidencia.cl/view/pop-up-nueva-constitucion-texto.asp 2005 recasting of the 1980 Constitution] (Spanish original)

Official translation of the original 1980 Constitution (PDF file)

Text of Chilean constitutions - Library of Congress of Chile (Spanish original)

"Untying the knot" (The Economist)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Constitution of Chile

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