After a historic day on Sunday where the Approval for a new Constitution triumphed with an overwhelming 78%, also defining that it will be written by means of a Constitutional Convention, quickly the first names of those who could be promoted as candidates began to hang around.
This, since after the 2020 Plebiscite, President Sebastián Piñera must call for the election of the members of the Constitutional Convention, something that will take place on April 11, 2021.
Thus, from “Aunt Pikachu dances” to Pablo Longueira are some of those who began to sound like candidates to integrate the group of 155 constituent citizens.
And from the Government there is also interest. The Government Spokesperson, Jaime Bellolio, acknowledged that current portfolio managers they could run in the future election. Something that the opposition seeks to truncate.
But beyond that: Who can apply to be a constituent? and How is it done?
Requirements to apply for constituent
For this position they can apply Chileans over 18 years old and that they have not been sentenced to afflictive punishment.
In the case of those born abroad and who are the children of a Chilean father and mother, in addition to people who are nationalized by grace, they may be candidates only if they had been resident in Chile for more than one year.
Regarding those who currently hold a position in the Government or are parliamentarians, they must cease their positions in order to register their candidacy.
This rule applies not only to sitting parliamentarians, but also to members of the Judiciary, the Public Ministry, the Armed Forces, and Order and Security. The same for those who hold positions in union or neighborhood organizations, who must suspend said functions from the moment their candidacies are registered.
In the case of independents who want to register as candidates, these must have the signature of a group of independent citizens equivalent to or greater than 0.4% of those who have voted in the electoral district in the previous deputy election.
In case of wanting to compete outside of the agreement, the signature requirement will be raised to 0.5% of the votes registered in the last election of deputies.
Now, in order to register the candidacy as independent, in each district the lists can include one more candidate than the number of conventional candidates to be elected in the respective district.
As is done in the case of parliamentarians, it is stipulated that the sponsorship of the candidacy “must subscribe before a notary by citizens with the right to vote who declare under oath or promise that they are not affiliated with a legally constituted political party or in formation, and whose electoral addresses registered in the Electoral Registry correspond to the senatorial district or constituency, depending on whether they are elections of deputies or senators . Anyone from the respective territory will be a competent notary ”.
In addition, it indicates that the list of sponsors must indicate in its heading the name of the candidate and the electoral act in question.
However, they can also compete as independents, but within a pact, that is, go within the list of a party. If so, the requirement will be not to have been affiliated with a political party within the last nine months.
Without a law that facilitates the nomination of independents to the process, the latter is in fact the most convenient option to have real options to obtain a quota, since the same system that is used in parliamentary elections will be applied.
Registering a solo candidacy outside the pact reduces the chances of being elected, since the D’Hont system that currently governs allocates the quotas in proportion to the votes obtained by the pact as a whole. Therefore, if a candidate decides to go in an independent pact alone, he will have only his base of votes to get a quota, also added to the factor of gender parity that will operate for this particular process, which will assign the same amount of seats for men and women.
For this reason, after the approval of the approval, the parties themselves came out to offer quotas of their pacts to independent candidates, to facilitate their participation in the Convention.
Finally, it should be noted that the members of the Constituent they will receive a diet of 2.5 million pesos, and those who are elected will not be able to run for popularly elected positions for up to a year after the body finishes its work, which in practice leaves them out of the next presidential and parliamentary elections in 2021.