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Chilean deputies approve general reform of binomial system

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-16 16:01:58

Chile's Chamber of Deputies Tuesday approved a proposed reform of the binomial electoral system, revoking the 120-limit on the number of deputies.

With 75 votes in favor and 31 against, members of Chile's left-leaning opposition and several members of the conservative ruling coalition approved the reform, which seeks to establish greater representation in congress by eliminating the binomial system, which favors large alliances between parties.

"It is an historic day to see the beginning of the end of the binomial system," Pedro Brown, deputy from the conservative National Renovation party said.

He added that electoral process reform will "begin to generate the majorities needed to end a system skewed to generate ties and to produce tremendous inequality of representation even within the coalitions themselves."

However, deputies from the right-wing Independent Democratic Union party, which opposes the bill, called for changes to the proposal.

The bill, which had already been approved by the Senate, must now be reviewed again by the chamber's Constitution Committee, and later be voted on again, article by article.

Due to the official start of the presidential campaign season from Oct. 17, the legislative debate on the bill has been postponed until after the Nov. 17 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Abolishing Chile's unique binomial system has been one of the most frequent demands by opposition groups and the majority of Chileans, who want to see more inclusive representation in congress.

Chile's political conservative sector has steadfastly opposed any changes to the country's 1980 Constitution, enacted during the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

The central reform calls for changing the rules of the election process for the Chamber of Deputies, to allow the modification of electoral districts and the total number of deputies. The bill also modifies the number of senators, districts and constituencies.
Posted in: Americas