- BBC News World
Chile’s Constituent Convention elected left-wing researcher María Elisa Quinteros as its new president on Wednesday, after an extensive debate that lasted more than 18 hours.
The woman will replace Elisa Loncón, who led the work of the assembly since it began in July 2020.
He received 78 votes in favor after intense negotiations and nine attempts to choose a new leader.
Quinteros is 39 years old, a dentist by profession and holds a doctorate in Public Health, with experience in epidemiology.
In addition, it belongs to the group of Constituent Social Movements, made up of independent activists, who organized after the 2019 protests and are now part of the group that drafts the new Magna Carta of the South American country.
He is also a representative of the Maule Region, located in the south-central area of the territory and has no membership in political parties.
“I thank you with all my heart. We hope to lead this process with wisdom, understanding and strength, where we can unite all sectors in favor of what we need for the country and for all its peoples, which is unity, transformation, peace and justice”, were her first words as president-elect.
The Convention has another six months to finish drafting the new legal document, which must be approved in a plebiscite for it to come into force.
Loncón, a Mapuche academic, presided over the first six months of work.
“6 months ago a strange story began for the republican life of Chile. How beautiful that the stranger today becomes familiar, that strangeness was ignorance and distance with the real country. After so much walking we have met,” Loncón said in his words closing.
“This strangeness, now familiar, was also due to a fact that previously would have seemed implausible: a Mapuche woman can govern an institution that marks the destiny of the country. This is an unprecedented cultural and political event in the history of our political community, it speaks of a parity and multinational country that is already giving its first light, “he added.
After three months of preparing its operating document and designing the different thematic commissions, the convention began the substantive debate on the constitutional articles on October 18.
The new constitution will replace the one established during the Augusto Pinochet regime in 1980. The creation of the Assembly was the result of a social outbreak that began in 2019.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.