Section 3. Freedom to Participate in the Political Process
The law provides citizens the ability to choose their government through free and fair periodic elections held by secret ballot and based on universal and equal suffrage.
Elections and Political Participation
Recent Elections: The country held concurrent presidential and legislative elections in 2017, both of which observers considered free and fair. The center-right candidate, Sebastian Pinera, won the 2017 runoff election against the center-left independent candidate Senator Alejandro Guillier.
On October 25, the country held a plebiscite, which observers considered free and fair, in which a majority approved the drafting of a new constitution.
Participation of Women and Members of Minority Groups: No laws limit participation of women or members of minority groups in the political process, and they did participate. The constitutional convention to be elected in April 2021 requires gender parity.
The Mapuche minority group, which represents approximately 13 percent of the population, has historically been underrepresented in government. In 2017 two candidates from the Mapuche indigenous group were elected to congress–one to the 43-seat Senate and one to the 155-seat Chamber of Deputies (see section 6, Ethnic Minorities).