Democratic future of Chile at risk, Communists warn
An elderly man votes during an election to choose members of a Constitutional Council who will draft a new constitution proposal, at the old Mapocho train station, now a cultural center, in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, May 7, 2023 | AP

Chilean Communists have warned that their country’s democracy is in danger after the right, including the extremist Republican Party, won 33 of the 50 seats on the body that will draft a new constitution.

Communist Party of Chile candidates received 8 per cent of the vote in the Sunday’s elections, winning two seats on the new Constitutional Commission.

On Tuesday, Communist Party president Guillermo Teillier said: “There is a risk to the democratic future of the country. Our councillors will have to do their best.

“It will be a tough battle. We will be very attentive to how the situation develops in order to make decisions in the course of the process.”

It is now the job of Communists “to contribute to the government in this difficult time and to contribute as much as possible to save the program that the right wing intends to definitively sink,” he said.

Teillier pointed out that the Communists “are the third most voted-for party in the country, adding: “This is remarkable in the face of a fierce anti-communist campaign, with a lot of corporate funding and a whole battery of communication.”

Some 21 per cent of the votes cast were discarded as “spoiled.”  That represents a large number of votes out of a total of 15 million cast in a country where voting is compulsory.

Teillier said this was “a considerable figure that needs to be carefully observed,” adding that “if these so-called left-wing forces had voted with the left, the result would have been different.”

The election has been seen as a defeat for the center-left government of President Gabriel Boric.

“There is no doubt that the government is in a complicated situation, but it must continue to govern, in a joint effort with the parties,” Teillier said.

Morning Star is the daily socialist newspaper in the United Kingdom.

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Roger McKenzie
Roger McKenzie

Roger McKenzie is the International Editor of Morning Star, Britain’s daily socialist newspaper.