Chile

   

Quality of Democracy

#28
Key Findings
With generally stable institutions showing increasing strain, Chile falls into the lower-middle ranks (rank 28) with regard to quality of democracy. Its score on this measure has fallen by 0.1 point since 2014.

Massive protests during the review period drew attention to social inequalities. The government declared a one-week curfew in response, and reports indicated that state forces, especially the police, had committed severe human-rights abuses. Ethnic minorities are have also been subject to discrimination and human-rights abuses.

A new electoral law, applied in 2017 for the first time, has expanded both legislative houses, changed the proportional-representation model and introduced gender quotas for candidate lists. Same-sex civil unions have been accepted, but same-sex marriages have not been recognized. Gender and ethnic discrimination remain concerns. Courts are strong and independent.

New anti-corruption measures have been implemented in response to political-party funding scandals, through penalties for such infractions have been mild. There are no regulations mandating transparency for potential conflicts of interests, although links between political and economic elites reinforce existing patterns of privilege.

Electoral Processes

#36

How fair are procedures for registering candidates and parties?

10
 9

Legal regulations provide for a fair registration procedure for all elections; candidates and parties are not discriminated against.
 8
 7
 6


A few restrictions on election procedures discriminate against a small number of candidates and parties.
 5
 4
 3


Some unreasonable restrictions on election procedures exist that discriminate against many candidates and parties.
 2
 1

Discriminating registration procedures for elections are widespread and prevent a large number of potential candidates or parties from participating.
Candidacy Procedures
9
In general terms, candidates and parties are not discriminated against in the registration process. Electoral procedures are very reliable and there is no ideological bias. Since 2013, significant reforms have rendered electoral provisions more transparent and inclusive, and made electoral institutions stronger and more autonomous.

In April 2015, a new electoral law (Law No. 20,840) was enacted that replaced the 25-year-old binominal electoral system for parliamentary elections with a system of “proportional and inclusive representation.” The allocation of seats is still based on the D’Hondt method, but this now takes take place in multimember districts of smaller magnitude (three to eight deputies and two to five senators). Further changes include the following:

- An increase in the overall number of deputies (from 120 to 155) and senators (from 38 to 50).
- A reduction in the number of Chamber of Deputies districts and constituencies (from 60 to 28).
- A reduction in the number of Senate districts and constituencies (from 19 to 15).
- The introduction of a gender quota applied to party lists: neither males nor females may exceed 60% of the total number of candidates presented by a party (valid through 2029).
- An increase in the amount of state reimbursement for each vote received by female candidates and the introduction of a gender bonus of about $20,000 for each woman elected as deputy or senator (up to 2029).
- A lowering of the requirements to create parties. The number of signatures parties must collect decreased from 0.5% of the voters in the last election for the Chamber of Deputies in eight of the 15 regions or in three geographically contiguous regions to only 0.25%, but limited to the region in which they are registered.
- The introduction of the M+1 rule; unlike the binominal system, each party list must now include as many candidates as seats are to be distributed, plus one. As before, the lists are open.
- Electoral pacts between parties are allowed only at the national level.
In December 2016, another electoral law (Law No. 20,990) introduced the direct popular election of the top executive in the country’s 12 administrative regions. The regional mayors (Intendentes Regionales), which were designated by the central government, are being replaced by elected regional governors (Gobernadores Regionales), with the goal of fostering decentralization and citizen participation. The newly created office has a term of four years, with only one consecutive reelection possible. To be elected, a candidate requires at least 40% of the valid votes in the first round or more than 50% in the runoff (a second round between the two candidates with the most first-round votes).
The new electoral system for Congress was first applied in the legislative elections of November 2017 together with the presidential election. The first direct election of regional governors will take place in 2020.

Citations:
http://www.bcn.cl/leyfacil/recurso/nuevo-sistema-electoral-para-elecciones-parlamentarias-%28fin-del-sistema-binominal%29

https://www.bcn.cl/leyfacil/recurso/eleccion-democratica-de-gobernadores-regionales

Ricardo Gamboa/Mauricio Morales 2016: Country Note. Chile’s 2015 Electoral Reform: Changing the Rules of the Game, Latin American Politics and Society, 11 October 2016, 126-144. DOI: 10.1111/laps.12005, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/laps.12005/Abstract

http://www.gob.cl/consiste-la-eleccion-directa-gobernadores-regionales-aprobada-este-miercoles/

https://www.leychile.cl/Navegar?idNorma=1098725

https://www.efe.com/efe/america/politica/bachelet-promulga-una-ley-que-permitira-la-eleccion-directa-de-gobernadores-regionales/20000035-3136356#

To what extent do candidates and parties have fair access to the media and other means of communication?

10
 9

All candidates and parties have equal opportunities of access to the media and other means of communication. All major media outlets provide a fair and balanced coverage of the range of different political positions.
 8
 7
 6


Candidates and parties have largely equal opportunities of access to the media and other means of communication. The major media outlets provide a fair and balanced coverage of different political positions.
 5
 4
 3


Candidates and parties often do not have equal opportunities of access to the media and other means of communication. While the major media outlets represent a partisan political bias, the media system as a whole provides fair coverage of different political positions.
 2
 1

Candidates and parties lack equal opportunities of access to the media and other means of communications. The major media outlets are biased in favor of certain political groups or views and discriminate against others.
Media Access
4
Access by candidates and parties to public TV channels is regulated by law (Law No. 18,700, Ley Orgánica Constitucional sobre Votaciones Populares y Escrutinios, and Law No. 18,603, Ley Orgánica Constitucional de los Partidos Políticos). Given the high concentration of media ownership with a specific political viewpoint, candidates and parties de facto lack equal opportunity of access to a plurality of media and other means of communication. La Nación, a former daily paper owned and run by the state, stopped publishing a print edition during Sebastián Piñera’s first administration in 2010 (although the publication is still accessible online). Chile’s largest free TV channel (TVN) is state-owned, and is required by law to provide balanced and equal access to all political views and parties – a regulation which is overseen by the National Television Directorate (Consejo Nacional de Televisión, CNTV). The private media is mainly owned and/or influenced by elite associated with the Chile Vamos (until 2015, Alianza por Chile) coalition, which represented the opposition until March 2018 and has been the ruling political force since then. Although La Nación and TVN are state-owned, they must operate according to market rules, relying on advertising revenues and strong audience ratings. In general, regional candidates tend to have fewer media-access opportunities due to the strong centralization of Chile’s political and media systems.

To what extent do all citizens have the opportunity to exercise their right of participation in national elections?

10
 9

All adult citizens can participate in national elections. All eligible voters are registered if they wish to be. There are no discriminations observable in the exercise of the right to vote. There are no disincentives to voting.
 8
 7
 6


The procedures for the registration of voters and voting are for the most part effective, impartial and nondiscriminatory. Citizens can appeal to courts if they feel being discriminated. Disincentives to voting generally do not constitute genuine obstacles.
 5
 4
 3


While the procedures for the registration of voters and voting are de jure non-discriminatory, isolated cases of discrimination occur in practice. For some citizens, disincentives to voting constitute significant obstacles.
 2
 1

The procedures for the registration of voters or voting have systemic discriminatory effects. De facto, a substantial number of adult citizens are excluded from national elections.
Voting and Registration Rights
8
Law No. 20,568, enacted in January 2012, and Law No. 20,669, enacted in April 2013, changed the voter registration system, eliminating the voluntary registration and compulsory voting system and replacing it with automatic registration and a voluntary right to vote for citizens older than 18 years. This reform promoted the participation of younger and especially first-time voters in the 2013 presidential elections. This law also introduced assisted voting for citizens with disabilities.

Since April 2014, Chileans living abroad have been automatically registered to vote if they are registered correctly with the registrar. These citizens are officially allowed to participate in presidential elections, presidential primaries and national plebiscites (which are not explicitly provided for by the constitution), but not in parliamentary or municipal elections. Chileans living abroad were able to vote for the first time in the presidential elections of 2017.

Citizens who have been charged with a felony and sentenced to prison for more than three years and one day, as well as people classified as terrorists, lose their suffrage rights. Prisoners who have not been charged but remain on remand de facto lose their right to vote as administrative and infrastructural barriers impede their participation in elections. Nevertheless, Law No. 20,568 eliminated penalties previously dealt to registered voters who did not vote and failed to have an explicit and officially approved excuse for not doing so. The fact that the act of voting is now completely voluntary is questioned by some politicians and intellectuals who argue that voting not only represents a civil right but also a civil duty. Fears were raised by academics that the transition to voluntary voting would be accompanied by a bias toward middle- and upper-class voters, since lower-class and marginalized voters would disproportionately stay home. These fears ultimately turned out to be unjustified, as balloting has demonstrated no significant bias with regard to socioeconomic status in comparison to previous elections. However, voter-turnout rates dropped to a historic low in the municipal elections of 2016. The presidential election of 2017 confirmed this tendency, with the voter turnout rate in the first ballot dropping to 46.65% as compared to 49.13% in the previous election of 2013.

Citations:
http://www.bcn.cl/leyfacil/recurso/voto-de-chilenos-en-el-extranjero

http://www.biobiochile.cl/2014/04/30/presidenta-bachelet-promulga-ley-de-voto-chileno-en-el-extranjero.shtml

https://www.servel.cl/voto-de-chilenos-en-el-exterior-2/

About suffrage of prisoners:
https://scielo.conicyt.cl/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0718-34372018000100233

https://ciperchile.cl/2013/08/27/votando-en-la-carcel/

To what extent is private and public party financing and electoral campaign financing transparent, effectively monitored and in case of infringement of rules subject to proportionate and dissuasive sanction?

10
 9

The state enforces that donations to political parties are made public and provides for independent monitoring to that respect. Effective measures to prevent evasion are effectively in place and infringements subject to effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.
 8
 7
 6


The state enforces that donations to political parties are made public and provides for independent monitoring. Although infringements are subject to proportionate sanctions, some, although few, loopholes and options for circumvention still exist.
 5
 4
 3


The state provides that donations to political parties shall be published. Party financing is subject to some degree of independent monitoring but monitoring either proves regularly ineffective or proportionate sanctions in case of infringement do not follow.
 2
 1

The rules for party and campaign financing do not effectively enforce the obligation to make the donations public. Party and campaign financing is neither monitored independently nor, in case of infringements, subject to proportionate sanctions.
Party Financing
6
In general, party and campaign financing processes have not been very transparent in the past. Upper limits to campaign financing are set by law, but enforcement and oversight are not very effective. Electoral campaign expenditures are financed by public funds and private financing, but ineffective monitoring often enables the latter to be rather opaque. No real mechanisms exist for applying penalties in the event of irregularities. Law No. 20,640, approved in October 2012, made it possible for a political coalition to support candidates on a joint basis. This process is voluntary and binding, and joint campaign expenditures are limited by the current public-transparency law (Ley de Transparencia, Límite y Control del Gasto Electoral). This limit is set at 10% of the amount allocated for normal elections.

At the end of 2014, wide-ranging evidence of corruption in political-party funding came to light. As the investigation progressed, more and more politicians and political parties across the ideological spectrum turned out to be involved. However, the courts have tended to impose fairly insubstantial penalties. As a response to the crisis, former President Bachelet convened an anti-corruption council that proposed several anti-corruption measures, including new restrictions on private campaign funding, which were largely enacted in April 2016. With Law No. 20,900, which modifies former Law No. 19,884, a higher base amount is provided by the state for electoral campaigns, but enterprises are barred from providing funding to political parties or campaigns. In addition, anonymous donations became illegal and all donations must be transparently registered.

Citations:
http://www.servel.cl/financiamiento-de-campanas/

http://www.latercera.com/noticia/politica/2016/04/674-676080-9-estas-son-las-normas-que-fija-la-nueva-ley-para-regular-el-financiamiento-de.shtml

https://www.emol.com/noticias/Nacional/2018/07/04/912103/Caso-Penta-Tribunal-acoge-juicio-abreviado-y-condena-por-delitos-tributarios-a-Lavin-y-Delano.html

Do citizens have the opportunity to take binding political decisions when they want to do so?

10
 9

Citizens have the effective opportunity to actively propose and take binding decisions on issues of importance to them through popular initiatives and referendums. The set of eligible issues is extensive, and includes national, regional, and local issues.
 8
 7
 6


Citizens have the effective opportunity to take binding decisions on issues of importance to them through either popular initiatives or referendums. The set of eligible issues covers at least two levels of government.
 5
 4
 3


Citizens have the effective opportunity to vote on issues of importance to them through a legally binding measure. The set of eligible issues is limited to one level of government.
 2
 1

Citizens have no effective opportunity to vote on issues of importance to them through a legally binding measure.
Popular Decision-Making
3
The Chilean constitution is one of the most restrictive on the topic of direct democracy (e.g., referendums, plebiscites and citizens’ initiatives) in present-day Latin America. The last nationwide plebiscite was initiated by the government in 1989, albeit during a military dictatorship and in the midst of the agreement process on the transition to democracy. At the moment, the national government does not contemplate mechanisms for direct democracy, though they have been called for by various civil society groups and movements. At the municipal level, the Organic Constitutional Law of Municipalities (2002) provides for popular consultations (i.e., plebiscites). These may be either top-down (at the initiative of a mayor, with the agreement of the council, or by the municipal council itself, with a two-thirds majority) or bottom-up (by a minimum of 10% of a municipality’s citizens). Thus, the possibility to initiate referendums at the municipal level officially exists, but these referendums are not necessarily legally binding and may be ignored by the authorities.

Access to Information

#21

To what extent are the media independent from government?

10
 9

Public and private media are independent from government influence; their independence is institutionally protected and fully respected by the incumbent government.
 8
 7
 6


The incumbent government largely respects the independence of media. However, there are occasional attempts to exert influence.
 5
 4
 3


The incumbent government seeks to ensure its political objectives indirectly by influencing the personnel policies, organizational framework or financial resources of public media, and/or the licensing regime/market access for private media.
 2
 1

Major media outlets are frequently influenced by the incumbent government promoting its partisan political objectives. To ensure pro-government media reporting, governmental actors exert direct political pressure and violate existing rules of media regulation or change them to benefit their interests.
Media Freedom
8
In general, rules and practice of media supervision guarantee sufficient independence for public media. Privately owned media organizations are subject to licensing and regulatory regimes that ensure independence from the government. In its last edition (2017), the Freedom House index evaluated Chile’s freedom of press as “free” whereas in 2015 it was still evaluated as “partly free.” The report’s authors stated that the level of violence and harassment faced by journalists covering protests had significantly decreased in recent years. However, this might have changed in the context of the October 2019 demonstrations. The index takes into account “the legal environment in which media operate, political influences on reporting and access to information, and economic pressures on content and the dissemination of news.” The latest Press Freedom Index 2019, published by the international NGO Reporters Without Borders, ranked Chile at 46th place out of 180 countries, a significant drop of eight places compared to the previous year. The report states that covering demonstrations still remains difficult. Given Chile’s media landscape and its ideological and economic concentration, the degree of government influence over the media depends largely on which coalition is leading the government and clearly limits democratic debate. The presidency of Piñera, a successful entrepreneur, is more market friendly, and is consequently closer to business and media interests.

Citations:
Freedom House Index (freedom of the press):
https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/freedom-press-2017

Reporters without borders press freedom index:
https://rsf.org/en/chile

To what extent are the media characterized by an ownership structure that ensures a pluralism of opinions?

10
 9

Diversified ownership structures characterize both the electronic and print media market, providing a well-balanced pluralism of opinions. Effective anti-monopoly policies and impartial, open public media guarantee a pluralism of opinions.
 8
 7
 6


Diversified ownership structures prevail in the electronic and print media market. Public media compensate for deficiencies or biases in private media reporting by representing a wider range of opinions.
 5
 4
 3


Oligopolistic ownership structures characterize either the electronic or the print media market. Important opinions are represented but there are no or only weak institutional guarantees against the predominance of certain opinions.
 2
 1

Oligopolistic ownership structures characterize both the electronic and the print media market. Few companies dominate the media, most programs are biased, and there is evidence that certain opinions are not published or are marginalized.
Media Pluralism
5
In general terms, the high concentration of media ownership in Chile notoriously limits democratic pluralistic debate. This is especially the case among print media, which is practically a duopoly. The El Mercurio group and Copesa together account for much of the country’s print sector, have the greatest share of readers and control of a considerable amount of the country’s advertising portfolio. The papers owned by these two dominant groups offer essentially uniform political-ideological projects, editorial positions, styles and news coverage. However, these newspapers tend to be more influential among Chile’s upper-middle class and political elites than among the broader public. A similar pattern is evident in the public-television sector, but on the whole, the electronic sector offers a more diversified scope of opinion (especially on local radio stations and in a few online publications). In general, there is a very narrow informational mainstream, with the government-owned TVN being the most dominant free station. Whether it presents politically balanced views and provides access to all viewpoints is a point of debate. At the end of 2017, TVN was declared bankrupt. A bailout package to ensure the channels survival was approved by the Senate in January 2018. The government also decided to create a cultural channel as part of the TVN capitalization project.

Citations:
https://www.eldinamo.cl/entretencion/2018/01/24/senado-culmino-la-tramitacion-del-proyecto-de-capitalizacion-de-tvn/

To what extent can citizens obtain official information?

10
 9

Legal regulations guarantee free and easy access to official information, contain few, reasonable restrictions, and there are effective mechanisms of appeal and oversight enabling citizens to access information.
 8
 7
 6


Access to official information is regulated by law. Most restrictions are justified, but access is sometimes complicated by bureaucratic procedures. Existing appeal and oversight mechanisms permit citizens to enforce their right of access.
 5
 4
 3


Access to official information is partially regulated by law, but complicated by bureaucratic procedures and some poorly justified restrictions. Existing appeal and oversight mechanisms are often ineffective.
 2
 1

Access to official information is not regulated by law; there are many restrictions of access, bureaucratic procedures and no or ineffective mechanisms of enforcement.
Access to Government Information
7
The statute on access to public information (Ley No. 20,285 sobre Transparencia de la Función Pública y Acceso a la Información de los Órganos de la Administración del Estado) was approved by Congress in August 2008 and implemented in 2009. It stipulates two dimensions of transparency. The first is “passive transparency,” and obliges all public institutions and authorities of the government to respond to any request for information constituted as public information within a 20-day period (with extensions of up to ten more days possible). The other dimension is that of “active transparency,” and requires governmental ministries and agencies to publish broad information on various topics on their websites. The statute also creates the Transparency Council (Consejo para la Transparencia), an independent agency responsible for monitoring transparency, regulating transparency practices and compelling public services to provide information should they refuse to do so. The Transparency Council’s board of directors is nominated by the executive and approved by the Senate. Information classified as a state secret is exempted from these transparency stipulations. This remains an important clause, as there are about 200 Chilean laws that are officially still classified as secret. These laws derive in some cases from the beginning of the 20th century, and in others from the military regime. Most are actually common knowledge but remain formally treated as secret. The current government of Sebastián Piñera presented a law proposal (Ley de Transparencia 2.0) to facilitate access to the laws. Although the Transparency Law (Ley de Transparencia) leaves very little room for administrative interpretation, there have been cases of negligence regarding access to and publication of relevant information.

Citations:
http://www.freedominfo.org/regions/latin-america/chile/

http://www.chiletransparente.cl/

http://www.leychile.cl/Navegar?idNorma=276363&idParte=0

http://anticorrp.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Chile-Background-Report_Final.pdf (S. 14)

http://www.elmostrador.cl/noticias/pais/2018/08/24/ley-de-transparencia-2-0-de-pinera-incluira-levantar-la-reserva-de-casi-200-leyes-secretas/

https://www.consejotransparencia.cl/a-un-ano-de-la-publicacion-de-la-ley-reservada-del-cobre-aun-existen-199-leyes-secretas-en-nuestro-pais/

Civil Rights and Political Liberties

#32

To what extent does the state respect and protect civil rights and how effectively are citizens protected by courts against infringements of their rights?

10
 9

All state institutions respect and effectively protect civil rights. Citizens are effectively protected by courts against infringements of their rights. Infringements present an extreme exception.
 8
 7
 6


The state respects and protects rights, with few infringements. Courts provide protection.
 5
 4
 3


Despite formal protection, frequent infringements of civil rights occur and court protection often proves ineffective.
 2
 1

State institutions respect civil rights only formally, and civil rights are frequently violated. Court protection is not effective.
Civil Rights
6
The state and the courts efficiently protect civil rights. However, the huge income gap in the population, as well as prevalence of discrimination against indigenous people, leads to inequality in the exercise of those rights. Anti-terror legislation – which dates back to 1984 and violates international conventions signed by Chile – has in recent years been applied in conflicts involving ethnic minorities, such as the Mapuche community in the southern region of Chile, generating human rights violations. There have been multiple cases in which detainees in the Mapuche conflict have been held significantly longer than average, independently of any results of an investigation. During the period under review, two severe incidents were revealed (the “Catrillanca case” and “Operation Huracán”) involving the infringement of rights and perpetration of criminal offenses by the government and police officials within the context of the Mapuche conflict.

Enacted in November 2016, Law No. 20,968 modified the competences of the military justice system defined by Law No. 20,477. Henceforth, no civilian – perpetrator or victim – will be prosecuted by military courts. The new law also introduced the crime of torture into the criminal code.

In response to the mass protest of October 2019, President Piñera declared a state of emergency that included a one-week curfew in several regions and the deployment of soldiers in the streets. Reports subsequently emerged that state forces – in particular the police (Carabineros) – had committed severe human-rights violations during protests and after arrests were made. At the time of this writing, official investigations were still under way. According to the Chilean Institute for Human Rights, at least 23 people died, more than 1,700 were injured and 5,000 detained during the protests. Former president and current High Commissioner of the United Nations’ Office for Human Rights (OHCHR) Michelle Bachelet sent a team to investigate the incidents.

Citations:
http://www.latercera.com/noticia/bachelet-pide-perdon-al-pueblo-mapuche-presenta-medidas-la-araucania/

https://prensa.presidencia.cl/comunicado.aspx?id=56160

https://www.bcn.cl/leyfacil/recurso/delito-de-tortura

http://radio.uchile.cl/2016/12/02/nueva-modificacion-a-la-justicia-militar-un-avance-hacia-el-pleno-estado-de-derecho-en-chile/

https://www.indh.cl/

To what extent does the state concede and protect political liberties?

10
 9

All state institutions concede and effectively protect political liberties.
 8
 7
 6


All state institutions for the most part concede and protect political liberties. There are only few infringements.
 5
 4
 3


State institutions concede political liberties but infringements occur regularly in practice.
 2
 1

Political liberties are unsatisfactory codified and frequently violated.
Political Liberties
6
In general, political rights are protected by the constitution and legislation, and are enforced by government policy and practice. Nevertheless, police interventions have sometimes crossed the line from guaranteeing law and order into repression – especially during the more intense period of the student movement, during protests by Chile’s indigenous people and during the mass demonstrations of October 2019, all of which exposed the limitations on the right to protest. Furthermore, the biased media landscape limits equal access to information and the opportunity to communicate different political opinions and versions of conflict situations.

How effectively does the state protect against different forms of discrimination?

10
 9

State institutions effectively protect against and actively prevent discrimination. Cases of discrimination are extremely rare.
 8
 7
 6


State anti-discrimination protections are moderately successful. Few cases of discrimination are observed.
 5
 4
 3


State anti-discrimination efforts show limited success. Many cases of discrimination can be observed.
 2
 1

The state does not offer effective protection against discrimination. Discrimination is widespread in the public sector and in society.
Non-discrimination
6
In general terms, political rights are protected by legislature and government bodies. Major failings can be seen, for example, in the case of the Mapuche indigenous conflict in the southern part of Chile. The Mapuche are not constitutionally recognized as an ethnic minority with collective rights. Despite official denials, some Mapuche captives claim to be political prisoners. In June 2017, former President Bachelet officially apologized to the Mapuches for the “mistakes and horrors” (errores y horrores) committed or tolerated by the state toward these communities, and presented the Plan de Reconocimiento y Desarrollo (Plan for Recognition and Development) Araucanía. This initiative seeks the recognition of collective rights and their language (mapudungún), introduces a holiday in their honor (Día Nacional de los Pueblos Originarios) and creates the Ministry of the Indigenous Peoples and the Council of Indigenous Peoples. The current president, Sebastián Piñera, has continued with its implementation, emphasizing the urgent need to create a proper ministry and secure constitutional recognition for indigenous peoples. Once operational, it remains to be seen if the ministry will improve protections against discrimination for the indigenous population.

With regard to gender, Chile is ranked 54th out of 149 countries in the 2018 Global Gender Gap Index; its parity-imparity score (ranging from 0.00 = imparity to 1.00 = parity) is 0.717. Both figures represent an improvement compared to previous years. Only about 22.6% of Chile’s serving deputies and 23.3% of the senators are women, a slightly better average than the former election period. Nonetheless, these averages are much lower than comparable shares elsewhere in Latin America or in the OECD as a whole. In order to improve the ratio of women representatives, a new electoral law obligates political parties’ electoral slates to be composed of at least 40% women beginning in the 2017 elections and provides financial incentives for the candidacy and election of women. Furthermore, a new labor-reform package enacted in August 2016 mandated that at least 30% of labor-union representatives be women.

As of the end of the review period, same-sex marriages had not been recognized, while both heterosexual and homosexual couples could enter into civil unions. However, two draft laws on same-sex marriage and same-sex couples’ adoption of children were being debated by Congress.

Citations:
Interparlamentary Union, Situation as of 1. September 2018
http://archive.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm

Global Gender Gap Index (reviewed by October 18th 2018)
https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-gender-gap-report-2017

http://www.t13.cl/noticia/nacional/bachelet-anuncia-creacion-ministerio-pueblos-indigena

https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/nacional/region-de-la-araucania/2018/09/24/plan-araucania-reconocimiento-constitucional-de-pueblos-originarios-ley-de-cuotas-y-financiamiento.shtml

https://prensa.presidencia.cl/comunicado.aspx?id=95682

Rule of Law

#16

To what extent do government and administration act on the basis of and in accordance with legal provisions to provide legal certainty?

10
 9

Government and administration act predictably, on the basis of and in accordance with legal provisions. Legal regulations are consistent and transparent, ensuring legal certainty.
 8
 7
 6


Government and administration rarely make unpredictable decisions. Legal regulations are consistent, but leave a large scope of discretion to the government or administration.
 5
 4
 3


Government and administration sometimes make unpredictable decisions that go beyond given legal bases or do not conform to existing legal regulations. Some legal regulations are inconsistent and contradictory.
 2
 1

Government and administration often make unpredictable decisions that lack a legal basis or ignore existing legal regulations. Legal regulations are inconsistent, full of loopholes and contradict each other.
Legal Certainty
7
Acts and decisions made by the government and official administrative bodies take place strictly in accordance with legislation. There are moderately effective autonomous institutions that play an oversight role with regard to government activity, including the Office of the General Comptroller (Contraloría General de la República) and the monitoring functions of the Chamber of Deputies. Government actions are moderately predictable and conform largely to limitations and restrictions imposed by law.

To what extent do independent courts control whether government and administration act in conformity with the law?

10
 9

Independent courts effectively review executive action and ensure that the government and administration act in conformity with the law.
 8
 7
 6


Independent courts usually manage to control whether the government and administration act in conformity with the law.
 5
 4
 3


Courts are independent, but often fail to ensure legal compliance.
 2
 1

Courts are biased for or against the incumbent government and lack effective control.
Judicial Review
8
Chile’s judiciary is independent and performs its oversight functions appropriately. Mechanisms for judicial review of legislative and executive acts are in place. The 2005 reforms enhanced the Constitutional Tribunal’s autonomy and jurisdiction concerning the constitutionality of laws and administrative acts. In the second half of 2019, a dispute between the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Tribunal emerged over the issue of judicial supremacy. As the judicial institution in charge of reviewing potential infringements of fundamental rights, the Supreme Court argued that this mandate gave it the power to review sentences rendered by the Constitutional Tribunal. The dispute had not been resolved by the end of the period under review.

During the current evaluation period, Chilean courts demonstrated their independence through their handling of the corruption scandals revealed over the past few years, which have included political parties and a large number of the country’s politicians. Nevertheless, the sentences imposed so far have tended to be rather light.

Citations:
https://prensa.presidencia.cl/comunicado.aspx?id=56160

https://www.bcn.cl/leyfacil/recurso/delito-de-tortura

https://www.latercera.com/nacional/noticia/corte-suprema-tribunal-constitucional-disputa/853582/

To what extent does the process of appointing (supreme or constitutional court) justices guarantee the independence of the judiciary?

10
 9

Justices are appointed in a cooperative appointment process with special majority requirements.
 8
 7
 6


Justices are exclusively appointed by different bodies with special majority requirements or in a cooperative selection process without special majority requirements.
 5
 4
 3


Justices are exclusively appointed by different bodies without special majority requirements.
 2
 1

All judges are appointed exclusively by a single body irrespective of other institutions.
Appointment of Justices
9
Members of the Supreme and Constitutional Courts are appointed collaboratively by the executive and the Senate. In recent years, there have been several cases in which the judiciary has acted to check executive power. This has come in the area of environmental policy, for example, in which the Supreme Court has affirmed its autonomy and independence from political influence.

To what extent are public officeholders prevented from abusing their position for private interests?

10
 9

Legal, political and public integrity mechanisms effectively prevent public officeholders from abusing their positions.
 8
 7
 6


Most integrity mechanisms function effectively and provide disincentives for public officeholders willing to abuse their positions.
 5
 4
 3


Some integrity mechanisms function, but do not effectively prevent public officeholders from abusing their positions.
 2
 1

Public officeholders can exploit their offices for private gain as they see fit without fear of legal consequences or adverse publicity.
Corruption Prevention
6
In general terms, the integrity of the public sector is a given, especially on the national level. The most notable problem consists in the strong ties between high-level officials and the private sector. No matter what their ideological position, political and economic elites overlap significantly, thus reinforcing privilege. However, this connection has tended to be more evident in the current Piñera government, as many members of the Alianza – including the president himself – are powerful businesspeople. Such entanglements produce conflicts of interest in policymaking (e.g., in regulatory affairs). There are no regulations mandating transparency for potential conflicts of interest among high-ranking politicians (e.g., the president or government ministers). The corruption scandals revealed in recent years have shown that such questionable practices are more common than the country’s scores on international transparency indexes might suggest.

In response to the corruption scandals earlier in the decade, former President Bachelet convoked a council (Consejo Asesor Presidencial contra los Conflictos de Interés, el Tráfico de Influencias y la Corrupción) that in its final report (April 2015) proposed several anti-corruption measures intended to prevent abuse of office. Restrictions on private campaign funding (Ley sobre Fortalecimiento y Transparencia de la Democracia) and the creation of a public register for all lobbyists were subsequently implemented in 2016. In August 2018, President Piñera announced a draft law on transparency (Ley de Transparencia 2.0) aimed at improving the existing regulation.

Citations:
http://consejoanticorrupcion.cl/

http://consejoanticorrupcion.cl/lanzamiento-final/

https://www.leylobby.gob.cl/

http://www.latercera.com/noticia/estas-son-las-normas-que-fija-la-nueva-ley-para-regular-el-financiamiento-de-campanas-politicas/

https://www.cooperativa.cl/noticias/pais/politica/transparencia/pinera-anuncio-ley-de-transparencia-2-0-que-incluira-al-congreso-al-tc/2018-08-24/121235.html
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