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Chile: Opposition Leaders Form Unified Alliance against Electoral Reform

By: PanAm Post Staff - Apr 30, 2014, 12:22 pm

On Monday and last Friday, opposition leaders in Chile met to close ranks and formulate an effective strategy to counter legislation introduced by President Michelle Bachelet, which seeks to replace the binomial electoral system. Among them was former president Sebastián Piñera and several key members of Alianza, an opposition establishment coalition composed of the Independent Democratic Union (UDI), unionists, and the National Renewal (RN).

The binomial electoral system is a unique model established in Chile at the end of the military dictatorship. It uses an algorithm that generally ensures a close to even split of congressional seats across the two main coalitions, promoting political stability over diversity and representation.

Alianza urged lawmakers to consider an alternative electoral reform legislation that had already been put forward in March this year still under Piñera’s presidency, and which had the support of both the opposition as well as some New Majority politicians. This bill, like Bachelet’s, intends to increase the number of representatives and senators, although to different degrees. The current 38 Senate seats would jump to 44, and total congressmen would go from 120 to 134. Bachelet’s plan includes an expanded Congress of 50 senators and 155 deputies.

Source: Santiago Times.