Andrés Pérez M. & Vittorio Peretti
After three months of negotiations, politicians that represent the main parties in Congress reached an agreement for a new constitutional process. The agreement considers a Constitutional Council, composed of 50 elected delegates (far below the 155 of the previous process) and 24 experts (not formally present previously), and includes 12 principles that will have to be respected by a new proposed text, such as the constitutional autonomy of the Central Bank.
Congress would propose members of an Admissibility Committee that would ensure compliance of norms with the 12 principles. In contrast to the previous process, in which no body reviewed the consistency of norms with the limits the current Constitution imposed on the Convention, now Congress would appoint 14 members to an Admissibility Committee, that will have the responsibility of verifying that proposed norms comply with the 12 principles.
Experts proposed by Congress set to have an important role drafting an initial text. Experts will be appointed by the Lower House and the Senate, 12 each, ratified by 4/7 of each respective House. According to the proposed timeline, these experts would begin drafting a proposal on January-23 which will be the basis for a new Magna Carta.
A smaller body of elected members would work on the draft prepared by experts. Elections for the 50 members and additional seats for indigenous groups (it is still unclear exactly how many seats these groups would have as their participation would depend on voter turnout for these groups), would take place in April 2023, with mandatory voting, according to the election rules for the Senate (currently, the Senate is evenly split between right and left). The elected body would begin its work on May 21 and deliver the final text on October 21.
Norms would be approved by a 3/5 quorum of the elected members, and rejected by 2/3; all norms not approved nor rejected by elected members would be sent to a Mixed Committee of 12 members composed equally between experts and elected members, with norms approved by 3/5 of the Mixed Committee.
Constitutional text to be ratified in a national plebiscite by yearend 2023. The proposed text would be ratified in a national plebiscite with mandatory voting on November 26, 2023.
The political agreement must now be drafted into a constitutional amendment and approved by both houses of Congress, with a 4/7 quorum. The approval of such an amendment may take some time considering Congress' fragmentation and the busy schedule it has towards yearend.
Andrés Pérez M.