Chilean President Sebastián Piñera called for the postponement of the April 10-11 elections, in which citizens will select the members of the country’s Constitutional Assembly. The president will issue a bill to Congress pushing the vote back until May, as Covid-19 cases skyrocket in the country.
Roughly 70 percent of Chile’s population is currently under some form of lockdown, and occupancy rates in intensive care units sit above 95 percent.
Chile boasts Latin America’s best vaccination rollout, with over 9.65 million doses distributed and 17.1 percent of the country fully vaccinated as of March 27. But experts say this efficiency gave Chileans a false sense of security, and citizens relaxed health measures as a result.
The coming polls will elect the committee responsible for drafting the country’s future Constitution that, if approved, would substitute the current military dictatorship era charter. The decision to vote on a new Constitution was the result of 2019 protests that nearly toppled the Piñera administration.