The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, proposed this Sunday to Congress a reform to postpone the municipal and constituent delegate elections set for April 10 and 11 until May 15 and 16, amid the confinement that affects more than 16 million people and the uncontrolled advance of the pandemic in his country.
“Our goal is that before May 15 and 16 we can vaccinate 9.3 million people, which will allow safer elections”, said the Chilean president on televised network.
The President highlighted two main reasons for carrying out such a postponement: protecting health and ensuring participation in the elections. “Although, like so many others, this has been a very difficult decision, but we must make it and we have the full conviction that it is the best for Chile and the Chileans.”
On April 10 and 11, Chile was called to the polls to elect, by popular vote, the future mayors, councilors, regional governors and the 155 conventional constituents who will have to write a probable future constitution for Chile. Initially, the vote was scheduled for April 11, but due to the pandemic, the day of Saturday 10 was added to avoid crowds, and to privilege the vote of the critical population of the country.
If the announced modification takes place, “the second round of the election of Governors, which was to take place on Sunday, May 9, will be held on Sunday, July 4, along with the presidential primaries.”
“I have asked the ministers of the Political Committee to go to Congress tomorrow to share this Bill with the parliamentarians and also to explain to the public the way in which this postponement will be made compatible with electoral campaigns, propaganda, financing, the situation of mayors and candidates and all other relevant aspects, ”added Piñera.
Chile and vaccinated more than 6 million people
It is that the success of the Chilean vaccination program does not seem to translate yet into the containment of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, Chilean authorities reported today that 7,326 new infections by covid-19 were detected, closing a record week of expansion of the pandemic, with the hospital network at the limit, 16 million people in total quarantine and more than 30,000 deaths between confirmed and suspected cases according to the Department of Statistics of the Ministry of Health (Minsal).
To date, the country, whose confinement decreed by the Minsal affects 97% of the population, maintains 41,767 active cases, that is, people with the capacity to spread the disease.
To stop the spread of the virus, during this weekend the Government canceled personal circulation permits throughout the country, in addition to decreeing the closure of large supermarket chains and markets.
According to the Health portfolio, 2,539 people remain hospitalized in intensive care units, 2,178 of them with mechanical ventilation support. With 95% of the health network at full capacity, the death of 101 people was reported in the last 24 hours, reaching a total of 22,754 deaths with positive PCR.
Since the start of the pandemic in Chile, 977,243 people have contracted covid-19, and during the last day the national positivity rate was 9.1% and 8% in the Metropolitan Region. The Government, which has 35 committed million doses to carry out its vaccination plan, it hopes to immunize 80% of the population by the end of June.
Thus, what is known as “the Chilean paradox”, has resulted in a successful vaccination campaign (more than 6 million immunized), but that has been overshadowed by high infections and hospitalizations for the coronavirus,