Chile: Bachelet Signs Bill to Increase Legislative Seats, Establish Gender Quota
EspañolOn Wednesday, President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, signed a bill that proposes changes to the current electoral system, including an increase in the number of seats in the Chilean Parliament.
“Let’s tell it like it is, the binomial system is a thorn in the side of our democracy. It is a system whose very existence was brought about by the dictatorship, and continues operating unabated in exclusionary fashion,” stated Bachelet. In addition, the president said, “The essence of this bill is to open up spaces through the voices of the many, because policy-making in an exclusionary manner is not what we want to see in Chile these days.”
This ruling party initiative seeks to increase the number of congressmen from 120 to 154, and the number of senators from 38 to 50. This proposal will only apply to parliamentary elections. “Chile has changed and our parliament should be an expression of this new nation that we have built together, but above all else, our Parliament must be at the service of a better democracy for our future,” expressed Bachelet.
In addition to the increase of parliamentary seats, this bill includes a quota law so that, in the words of the president, “no party can put forward more than 60 percent of its candidates of the same sex, thereby ensuring that at least 40 percent of the candidates are women.”