Constitution of Chile
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.
Chilean transition to democracy
Brief review of Chile's constitutional history - Chile's Library of Congress (in Spanish)
[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)
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Constitution of Chile