The President of Chile asks to postpone the constituent elections due to the pandemic | International

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The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, at the end of last January.Alberto Valdés / EFE

The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, has proposed this Sunday a reform to postpone the municipal and constituent delegate elections set for April 10 and 11 until June 15 and 16, respectively. "I want to ask Congress to approve the delay in the elections," was Piñera's first sentence in a televised message this Sunday night. The postponement, which needs ratification by the Legislature, comes in the midst of one of the worst moments of the pandemic, with more than 16 million Chileans in strict confinement since last Thursday. "Our goal is that before May 15 we can vaccinate millions of people and allow safer elections," the president has defended.

The pandemic in Chile is going through one of the worst moments, so that seven out of 10 Chileans entered quarantine as of this Thursday and, since this Saturday, all the inhabitants of the capital region (with about seven million people). Never in the entire health crisis had such a level of confinement been reached in the South American country, because the figures are not encouraging. The occupancy of beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) reaches 95% in the public and private network at the national level, which function integrally with the purpose of the health crisis. Since the first infection was reported a little over a year ago, critical beds have never been so full. With the arrival of March and the beginning of the school year, after the licentious summer holidays, more tests are being done than ever (70,922 were reported today), but the number of daily cases for the second time in a week surpassed the barrier of the seven thousand (7,023), as had not happened in the first wave.

That same weekend, general elections (presidential and legislative) are scheduled to be held in Peru, where former President Martín Vizcarra was removed from office last November, and the second round of the elections that will decide the successor of Lenín Moreno in Ecuador , a duel that will face the conservative Guillermo Lasso and the leftist Andrés Arauz, the candidate promoted by Rafael Correa. The coronavirus pandemic has hit those two countries hard, accelerating the collapse of the economy. However, their governments have not yet proposed similar measures.

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