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Chilean Election Results: Independent MPs Shake Chile’s Political Council and Control 64% of Constituent Assembly | International

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Chilean Election Results: Independent MPs Shake Chile's Political Council and Control 64% of Constituent Assembly |  International

One of the greatest surprises on Chilean election day over the weekend is the large presence of independent MPs in the Constituent Assembly, which will begin work on a new Fundamental Charter in June. Of 155 voters, 48 ​​presented themselves through independent lists of political parties, that is, 31%. If you add them to the 40 elected members who do not fight but ended up in polling stations under the auspices of some community – from different sectors – according to the New Constitution Observatory, the number of independent members in the body reaches 64%. In short, in addition to the 17 seats reserved for indigenous peoples, the united Assembly will have a total of 50 party activists (77 women and 78 men), who will have a maximum period of one year to pass new laws that will regulate the fate of Chile. …

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Those who are not party activists were organized mainly according to lists, and two of them stood out from afar. The people’s list, which appeared as a result of social protests in 2019 and managed to formulate a socio-political organization, reached 27 seats in the Assembly (17.4%). The list of independent candidates for the new constitution, on the other hand, had 11 seats (7%) in the Assembly, which will meet at the Pereira Palace in Santiago and at the capital’s Congress headquarters. It is not a militant center-left list, which is defined as a “diverse, cross-cutting and community-driven group” operating “in civil society organizations, as well as in the academic, cultural, scientific, urban, communication and other social spheres. questions. “They had the non-militant with the highest voice, Benito Baranda, a psychologist widely known to the public for his many years of social work. In addition, 10 other voters were elected from independent rolls at the national level.

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They shocked the Chilean political council and came as a complete surprise to analysts and leaders from all sectors. The prevailing forecasts indicated that they would receive between 8 and 16 seats. But according to political scientist Pamela Figueroa of the New Constitution Observatory, it was impossible to carry out previous electoral calculations because the new rules of the game were applied in practice. “Three new rules – parity, seats reserved for indigenous peoples, and lists of independent members – contributed to the fact that the Constituent Assembly represented something different from the typical representative bodies,” says the political scientist.

The success of the Independents in the elections in Chile is directly related to the crisis in the representativeness of political parties. According to the latest poll by the Center for Public Research (CEP), only 2% of Chileans trust any formations that have failed to renew their state (since 2006, Michelle Bachelet and Sebastian Piñera have changed their presidency).

The crisis of representative democracy is not new to Chile, and partly explains the already almost structural abstinence in elections, which has not been below 50% since the 2012 voluntary vote. in the country, the majority of voters also preferred to stay at home (57%).

The Independents have become a gravitational force in Chilean politics this weekend. When analyzing the lists and proposals of the elect – most of them are still unknown to the general public – it was observed that they have a transformative discourse, that they were committed to changing the Constitution and that they are not located on the right of the political spectrum. “48 independent MPs voted in October to amend the Constitution and to make the Constitution a civil one and not be formed by parliamentarians,” explains Baranda.

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The popular list, for example, defines itself as anti-systemic, according to Daniel Trujillo, the national coordinator of the movement, who still has no headquarters or national leadership, and which has surpassed the center-left (who won 25, a big defeat) and almost caught up with the Communist Party and the Broad Front (28).

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“We are an autonomous and independent civic movement organized to allow representatives of people without political parties who represent the values ​​of the uprising to participate in the Constituent Assembly,” says Trujillo. They originated in Piazza Italia, the epicenter of the Santiago protests, which grew as they merged with the territories, allowing them to make lists in almost every neighborhood. “We believe that the crisis that Chilean institutions have reached is due precisely to the fact that the party system has been taken over by the economic elite that controls Chile,” says the national coordinator of the People’s List, which measures the growth of all political organizations. to protect Sebastian Piñera and his government in the aftermath of the October 2019 social outbreak. “This is a great betrayal of the people mobilized for the uprisings, and therefore nothing with them,” says Trujillo.

He talks about “outdated” institutionalization and says that if the capitalist anti-system defines them as left, then the People’s List is on the left. They do not like the Piñera government or the economic elite that has taken over Chile. But this reinforces their diversity: “We are against the neoliberal model, but we have elected representatives who support Marxism and even Trotskyism, such as Comrade Maria Rivera, and other voters, such as the young lawyer Francisca Araun, 28, who was elected to the peasant a municipality, a Chilean latifundia region whose discourse is based on feminism, cooperation and environmental protection rather than class struggle, ”says Trujillo.

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Since the Popular List was formed around the mobilization of the Piazza Italia – Plaza Dignidad, as it was renamed in some sectors – the symbols of protest belong to this group. As founder Giovanna Grandon, who became known as Purple pikachu for disguising himself as a creature from a video game. Or Sensual Spiderman, a key person in this group’s configuration, known for wearing a superhero costume.

The large number of independent candidates suggests that there will be no party discipline in the Chilean constituency, even with respect to 40 non-militants who arrive at the constitutional body with the support of parties. In any case, it will be similar to the Chilean Congress, where it has not been voted as a single bloc for a long time. However, after the establishment of the Constituent Assembly, in accordance with the new rules, new internal alliances began to form.

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Meeting of black candidates from the Northeast discusses a political project against racism

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Photo: Tylynn Barrett / DP Photo

“He who enters has the task of taking others.” Those were the words spoken by one of the I Vote Black coordinators, Monica Oliveira, during the Northeast Black Women’s Meeting – Smearing Parliament, which took place on the floor of Parliament this Friday. Esuda Faculty of Science, Recife Center. Bringing together 36 of more than 50 candidates assisted by the project in the Northeast, the meeting discussed the importance of black women’s representation, not only as a quantitative factor, but also as a means of implementing policies to combat racism. The event is an initiative of the Black Women’s Network of Pernambuco and Casa da Mulher do Nordeste as part of the Black Women’s Project to Spaces of Power.

In an audience filled with candidacies of black women, social movements and supporters, voices jumbled together, chanting the same thing: denigrate the political scene with anti-racist women candidatures. Even though they make up 28% of the Brazilian population, black women are still underrepresented in these areas of power. In 2020, these women accounted for only 2% of the National Congress, according to the National Household Continuous Sample Survey (Pnad) conducted by IBGE, which is a reality according to which the “Eu Voto em Negra” project, which operates after the 2020 municipal elections, aims to eradicate.

“The idea is to strengthen the candidacy of cis and transgender black women so that we can expand our presence in parliament and in the executive branch,” explains Monica Oliveira. “In our understanding, this stage is especially aimed at strengthening the presence in the legislature as a step towards the executive,” he adds. Media training, communications services, political and technical training are some of the jobs offered by Eu Voto em Negra to women who have been referred to promote these candidacies in an election year “more challenging” than 2020, according to Monika’s assessment.

“We are approaching the fourth year of Bolsonaro’s rule, so there is a resurgence of various forms of violence such as racism, misogyny, LGBT phobia,” he emphasizes. “All this set of violence that affects women, especially the black population.”

candidates

In an effort to circumvent this scenario, several black women from nine northeastern states committed to anti-racism have come forward to run for seats in the legislature and executive. As part of a collective mandate, Pretas sang Bahía, candidate for the state of Marcia Minister (Psol), who also ran for councilor in El Salvador’s 2020 municipal elections, says she recognizes the difficulty of entering places that are normally inaccessible to women like she is. , but even though he didn’t win the contest that year, he reiterates the importance of not giving up. “We cannot refuse to fight, we send a signal that we are ready to take these positions,” he said.

In the same stance, Crisiel (PT), Maranhao’s state candidate, classifies the meeting as a “very symbolic moment” and an exchange of experiences in search of reinforcement. “It’s a very happy and very symbolic moment to bring together so many black women’s candidatures at a time of so many failures in the country, we’ve come to reaffirm our fight,” she says.

Pernambuco federal candidate Robyonce Lima (Psol), who is part of the first collective mandate (Juntas Codexepoutadas) elected to the Legislative Assembly of Pernambuco (Alepe) in the 2018 elections, says there is a need to expand on achievements and regulate national politics in view of the onset of conservatism in country. “We need more and more women in politics to vilify these spaces, to tie our plans to gender and race,” she comments. “We need to change this story, we will have a transvestite, a black bench in the Federal Chamber after 200 years of Brazilian independence. This is a historical reparation.”

letter of commitment

During the meeting, the political project announced by the women present was presented with a signed letter titled “Black Women of the Northeast Smearing Parliament” consisting of 13 commitments read by Monica Oliveira. While citing small gains in representativeness in institutional policy, the paper highlights points that need to be considered and worked on.

    (Photo: Tylynn Barrett/DP Photo)
Photo: Tylynn Barrett / DP Photo

“We want a democracy that goes beyond voting every two years. We want democracy, which means not only the right to speak, but also the right to be heard and jointly shape the direction of the country,” the excerpt from the letter explains.

Commitments that recognize black heritage, place political spaces at the service of the fight against racism, strengthen alliances with anti-racist organizations, and build on the principle of collectivism were some of the agendas presented.

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From the “executive department” to the main political hero, the Assembly has achieved unprecedented results in the current legislature.

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From the "executive department" to the main political hero, the Assembly has achieved unprecedented results in the current legislature.

Catering Monitoring Consulting

Since the Legislative Assembly had a larger base of parliamentarians, there have been periods in the last few decades when the governors of the states have exercised great influence over the Parliament of Minas Gerais. The contractor’s projects were approved almost always without any restrictions. Because of this connection between the two powers, civil servants and even deputies used to wittily refer to the Assembly as a simple “department of the executive.”

Something unprecedented happened in the current legislature: unlike what had happened in previous governments, the president of the Minas Gerais State Assembly was not connected to the governor. And a good part of the parties, once allies of the governors, do not support the current government. Among them are PP, PTB, Tsidadaniya (former PPP) and MDB.

This happened to some extent due to the position of the new governor. Elected with a speech that largely echoed here in the state the same platform that Jair Bolsonaro took during the 2018 election campaign, Romeu Zema declared during the campaign that there would no longer be political “conchavos” in his government. .

At that time, segments of the right, characterized by anti-political discourse, viewed as “conchavos” alliances or agreements made between politicians and parties. These methods are supposed to be forms of corruption. Following this logic, the then candidate Zema introduced himself as a successful business administrator and promised to objectively and technically manage the state. Then there would be no need for negotiations, which were considered a typical practice of the “old policy”.

A government was installed that was not flexible and showed little readiness for dialogue. However, in the first few months of his reign, Zema’s rule was already under threat. There were only three deputies in his Novo party at that time. It would be very difficult to govern with such a disproportion of power, with only three allies in the universe of the 77 deputies that make up the Legislative Assembly. Supporters were deputies from the same party as the governor: Barto (today in the PL), Guilherme da Cunha and Laura Serrano.

While Zema was reluctant to join the parliamentarians, four blocs were formed in the Assembly for the first time. Prior to that, the formation of a maximum of three blocs was common: the opposition, the “neutrals” (as they called themselves) and the pro-government ones. As of 2019, by contrast, two “neutral” blocs (instead of one) have been formed in addition to the opposition and government blocs.

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Each of the “neutrals” was led by MDB and PSD. In total, both political groups started the legislature with 40 of the 77 seats in parliament. Therefore, any governmental movement depended, first of all, on articulation with two groups of deputies. In cases where the opposition, due to a coincidence of interests, joined these groups claiming independence, the government had no chance of approving their projects.

To have a minimum of controllability, Zema mainly turned to PSDB. Thanks to its rich experience and political skill, this party managed to attract other abbreviations to the ruling base. Thus, in the first half of 2019, 21 parliamentarians were on the side of the governor. The PT-led opposition had 16 members. Thus, it was a minority bloc.

During 2019, the alliance with the PSDB became closer. For most of Zema’s term, this party was important to the government. It is worth recalling that Zema won the election in the second round against the PSDB candidate (former Governor Antonio Anastasia, now in TCU). Thus, it was not a very common case that a party that was defeated in an election then assumed a central role in the conduct of an elected government.

In the first half of 2019, Custódio Mattos (PSDB) took over the management of the Secretariat of the Government, the body responsible for the dialogue between the Assembly and the executive branch. Luisa Barreto (PSDB) also became Deputy Minister of Planning. Today she leads the portfolio.

Even though he managed to make a base, Zema still tried to maintain his position of not practicing “konchavos”. This means, at least apparently, that efforts to create a parliamentary base will not be made, since many other agreements were concluded in the process of forming the government. Without commitment or identification with the executive branch, parliamentarians inflicted severe defeats on the governor, whose projects to correct the state machine were generally unpopular and in many cases meant the demise of politics or public services. The single most effective government project approved in 2019 was the administrative reform, which reorganized the structure of government.

This situation of political weakness on the part of the executive branch is not common in recent history, except in very specific cases. The Assembly began to set the tone for politics in Minas. In addition to approving the mining project, the Parliament also held discussions on the public debt of Minas and the loss of revenue resulting from the Kandir law. He also increased his power over public accounts by including in the state constitution the government’s obligation to amend the budget for parliamentarians and blocs.

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In addition, the Assembly attempted to further increase government oversight when it introduced secretaries of state accountability every four months in 2019.

Also in 2019, a draft was sent to the parliament, which the government considers the most important for the state. We are talking about joining the Tax Collection Regime (RRF) established by Supplementary Law No. 159 of 2017. It is assumed that the purpose of the RRF is to provide financial assistance to the state. In short, this is a temporary suspension of Minas’ debt collection to the federal government. On the other hand, the state must take a number of unpopular measures, including the sale of companies such as Cemig and Copasa, as well as a long-term ban on wage increases.

Joining the RFF has been put on hold until today in the Assembly and is facing significant voting difficulties even in this legislature.

In 2020, due to the pandemic, the government abandoned the protection of the SBR. Efforts have been focused on other fronts, especially health. In connection with the moment of the natural disaster, many government directives were approved. However, those not directly related to the pandemic, such as destination and resource checks stemming from the agreement with Vale, have been blocked or changed.

With the beginning of the slowdown of the pandemic, at the end of 2021, the government resumed the defense of the RRF. However, his weak political articulation prevented him from moving forward. Then the governor requested urgently in working out the tax regime. This regimental instrument prevents other projects from being considered in plenary until the urgent matter is assessed. However, the Assembly ignored the request and did not decide to place this project on an emergency basis.

In this regard, the Governor sued the Legislative Assembly, claiming that the Parliament violated the Minas Gerais State Constitution by failing to comply with its demands. The President of the Legislative Assembly, Agostinho Patrus (PSD), then responded to a request and explained the urgency of joining the RRF. In view of this, the governor withdrew from the trial.

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Another confusion was caused by the executive branch, announcing a 37% increase in the salaries of security personnel in 2019. Zema was criticized even outside the state for this decision, which was considered reckless. There was a conflict that only recently found a solution, in 2022. After tense negotiations, the government achieved a 10.06% readjustment.

The State Parliament realized that this setting could not apply only to security servers. The Governor then again turned to justice to try to withhold the additional pay raise granted by the Assembly. In addition to the expansion of the groups that will receive the increase, the percentages proposed by the Assembly have reached 40%. This conflict ended only when the Federal Supreme Court granted Zema’s request and prevented the application of higher rates set by MPs.

During this period of litigation, the chief executive lost more support in parliament. Zema’s base has been reduced from 21 in 2019 to 16 this year. And to top it all off, it disbanded in April 2021. This is because with the departure of MP Neliando Pimenta (PSB), it was reduced to 15 parliamentarians. For it to exist as a bloc, an Assembly Regiment requires that it be composed of at least 16 members.

However, in early July, the ruling bench was reorganized. This is because União Brasil decided to join Zema. Thus, today there are 16 parliamentarians again on the side of the governor.

Now the “neutral” blocs have recently merged into a single bloc of 36 parliamentarians. It is still the largest political group in the Assembly. Since the beginning of the work of the legislative body, the opposition has received 7 deputies. Today it has 23 parliamentarians. At least since the redemocratization of the country, the opposition has never had such a large number of members. And for the first time, pro-government members are in the minority in the Legislative Assembly of Minas Gerais.

In the Contextus Bulletin, Nesp’s Public Powers Monitoring Advisory Board deepens its analysis of the Assembly’s situation in this legislature. The approach focuses on projects approved by MPs, as well as the transfer of resources promoted by them.

Letter: Marcelo Gomes – 09.08.2022
Source: ALMG/Daniel Protzner.

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Political secret | WATCH

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Political secret |  WATCH