Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > South America > Chile

Chile Politics

State and politics

GOVERNMENT

Chile switched to democratic civilian rule in 1990 after 17 years of military dictatorship. The Constitution was dictated in 1981 and reformed in 1989. According to it, Chile is a democratic republic, whose president must have been born in Chile and celebrated 40 years. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how CI can stand for Chile. The president, who is both head of state and government, is elected in direct elections for a term of four years (previously six years) and may not be re-elected immediately. Close to the president is a National Security Council, which gives the military continued great influence.

Political System of Chile

Parliament consists of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. In 2005, the Senate approved constitutional amendments to abolish some of the constitutional guarantees of continued influence for the former dictator Pinochet, which he himself established, among other things. non-elected senators and senators with a lifetime mandate.

In addition, children born abroad by exile Chilean citizenship were granted, and the president's right to dismiss military commanders was reinstated. The Chamber of Deputies consists of 155 directly elected members and the Senate has 50 seats from the country's 15 different regions. All Chileans who turn 18 and who have not been sentenced to prison are entitled to vote. The duty to vote applies.

A constitutional court of seven judges oversees the legislation and has the right to ban parties that represent totalitarian ideologies.

Policy

The formerly so strong military has withdrawn significantly since democratization began in 1990 and is now behind a democratic regime. The many human rights cases pursued in the wake of the arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London in 1998 have contributed to it, although military spokesmen do not acknowledge any institutional responsibility for the dictatorship's crimes but only those responsibilities that can be claimed by individuals within the military apparatus.

Party politics seems to have the same political forces that dominated politics before the military dictatorship to do so today and with roughly the same power relations. However, some significant changes have taken place. A clear reorientation in the market-friendly and private capitalist direction has taken place in most parties.

The Christian Democratic Party Partido Demócrata Cristiano (PDC) gathers sympathizers in very different directions and strives, with different shades, for a community inspired by Christian values, mixed economy and consensus across class boundaries. To the right of PDC there is a fairly diverse group of people who are trying to manage the legacy of Augusto Pinochet and provide continuity to his community building. The divide is clear between conservative, corporatist and neoliberal elements. Alongside the traditional Partido Nacional (PN), Renovación Nacional (RN) and Unión Democrática Independiente (UDI) capture the most sympathies on the right.

On the left are a number of socialist parties, a result of the split of the old Partido Socialista (PS). PS was a collection of very different groupings, from convinced Trotskyists to compromising Social Democrats. Parts of PS's groupings were reunited in 1989. A growing left-wing party with a fairly cautious appearance is Partido por la Democracia (PPD). To the left are also a series of smaller lots, including Izquierda Cristiana (IC), formed by politicians with a Christian democratic past. The Chilean Communist Party Partido Comunista de Chile (PCCh) has been and is an important political force. Anchored in the labor movement, the party has survived despite significant difficulties. Its line has long been extremely Moscow-based, but since 1990 it has become less dogmatic. To the left of the PCCh is a split Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionario (MIR).

The Socialist Party held the 2000-10 presidential office, the last four years through Michelle Bachelet, Chile's first female president. In 2010, for the first time since the fall of the dictatorship, with the fall of Sebastián Piñeras (RN), the conservative presidential leadership resumed 2010. However, the popular Bachelet won big in the 2013 presidential election and re-elected as president in 2014.

Former president Sebastián Piñera was re-elected to the post in the 2017 election. In the second round of the election, he defeated Alejandro Guillier (born 1953) from the ruling Socialist Party with 55 percent of the vote against Guillier's 45 percent.

Also in the parliamentary elections, which took place at the same time as the first round of the presidential elections, Piñera's right-wing alliance Chile Vamos went ahead and got 73 seats out of 155 in the Chamber of Deputies. Chile Vamos thus became the largest party, but without its own majority. The second largest party Fuerza Mayoría received 43 seats. Frente Amplio received 20 seats, three smaller parties sharing the remaining 19 seats.

The election was for the first time in accordance with a new electoral system which will ensure more equal distribution between men and women. The members of the Chamber of Deputies increased from 120 to 155. The Senate has 50 seats. During a transitional period until 2029, all parties' lists of candidates must contain at least 40 and a maximum of 60 percent women. For each elected woman in parliament, the parties receive a monetary bonus based on a price base amount.

Judiciary

The judicial system in Chile consists mainly of the Supreme Court, appellate courts and a number of courts of first instance. The legal order is mainly codified according to the continental European pattern. The Civil Code of 1857 is inspired by French, Spanish and Austrian law. Among the other major codifications are the Commercial Law, the Criminal Code, the Civil Procedure Act and the Criminal Procedure Act. The death penalty was abolished in 2001 for serious crimes committed during peacetime but can still be sentenced under war or warlike conditions. The last execution took place in 1985.

Human Rights

Although Chile has recently taken several important steps to strengthen human rights, several difficulties remain in the country.

The main human rights issues in today's Chile concern the social violence against and discrimination against women, children and LGBT people. The latter group sought to protect Sebastián Piñera's administration (2010-14) by promulgating a law that would allow for the redress of LGBTQ persons subject to discrimination. Discrimination on the grounds of gender identity was banned by a law that came into force in 2012.

However, women are exposed on several levels. Chile (2015) is one of only four countries in Latin America with an absolute ban on abortion (the other three are El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua), even in the event of medical necessity or rape.

Both physical and mental violence in the home is punishable by law. Nevertheless, it is a serious problem in the country. Hundreds of rapes are reported each year, but the number of blacks is considered to be large. According to experts, a majority of all cases of domestic abuse or rape are not reported due to fear of further violence, retaliation and social stigma. Commercial sexual exploitation of women, children and adolescents occurs to a large extent.

Freedom of expression and information has improved since 2012 when the country was ranked 60th in Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index. In the 2015 survey, the country has risen to 43 out of 180 countries surveyed. Attacks on journalists have decreased, and the government has expressed a desire to increase freedom of information. However, media ownership is still concentrated to a few players.

Further problems in the country include abuses and discrimination against indigenous peoples, the use of excessive force by security forces and corruption. Impunity generally prevails for abuses committed by security personnel.

Heads of State

Presidents

1876-81 Aníbal Pinto
1881-86 Domingo Santa Maria
1886-91 José Manuel Balmaceda
1891-96 Jorge Montt
1896-1901 Federico Errázuriz
1901-05 Germán Riesco
1905-06 Rafael Rayes
1906-10 Pedro Montt
1910 Elías Fernandez
1910-11 Emiliano Figueroa
1911-15 Ramón Barros Luco
1915-20 Juan Luis Sanfuentes
1920-24 Arturo Alessandri
1924 junta
1925 Arturo Alessandri
1925-27 Emiliano Figueroa
1927-31 Carlos Ibáñez del Campo
1931 Juan Esteban Montero
1931 Manuel Trucco
1931-32 Juan Esteban Montero
1932 junta
1932 Carlos Dávila
1932 Bartolomé Blanche
1932 Abraham Oyanedel
1932-38 Arturo Alessandri
1938-41 Pedro Aguirre Cerda
1941-42 Jerónimo Méndez
1942-46 Juan Antonio Ríos
1946 Alfredo Duhalde
1946-52 Gabriel González Videla
1952-58 Carlos Ibáñez del Campo
1958-64 Jorge Alessandri
1964-70 Eduardo Frei
1970-73 Salvador Allende
1973-90 Augusto Pinochet
1990-94 Patricio Aylwin
1994-2000 Eduardo Frei you
2000-2006 Ricardo Lagos Escobar
2006-10 Michelle Bachelet
2010-14 Sebastián Piñera
2014-18 Michelle Bachelet
2018- Sebastián Piñera
Other Countries in South America

Politics eZine Copyright 1999 - 2020 All Rights Reserved