CHAPTER XIV Amendment to the Constitution
- Proposals to amend the Constitution may be put forward by a message from the President of the Republic or by motion of any Member of the National Congress, subject to the limitations stated in the first paragraph of Article 62.
- In order to be approved by each Chamber, the amendment proposal shall require the supporting vote of three-fifths of the Deputies and Senators in office,
- The system of urgencies shall be applicable to the constitutional amendment proposals.
- Both Chambers, met in Plenary Congress and in open session, with the attendance of the majority of the total membership, held sixty days following approval of a proposal as prescribed for in the preceding article, shall take cognizance thereof and proceed to vote on it without debate. If on the day appointed, a majority of the total membership should not be present, the session shall be held on the following day, with the attending Deputies and Senators.
- The proposal approved by the majority of the Plenary Congress, shall be submitted to the President of the Republic. Should the President of the Republic entirely object to an amendment proposal approved by the Congress, and the latter insist upon the complete proposal by three-fourths of the members in office of each Chamber, the President shall promulgate said proposal, unless he consults the citizens through a plebiscite.
- If the President of the Republic partially objects to the amendment proposal approved by the Congress, the objections will be understood to have been approved by a supporting vote of the absolute majority of the members in office of each Chamber, and it shall be returned to the President for its promulgation.
- If the Chambers should not approve all or some of the objections made by the President, no constitutional amendments shall be made on the matters being objected to, unless two-thirds of the members in office of both Chambers insist upon the part of the proposal approved by them. In the latter case, the part of the proposal having been insisted upon shall be returned to the President for its promulgation, unless the President consults the citizens through a plebiscite with respect to the matters in dispute.
- Constitutional amendments intented to modify the norms on plebiscites prescribed in the preceding Article, to diminish the powers of the President of the Republic and to grant greater powers to the Congress or new prerogatives to the Congressmen, shall, at all times, require the approval of both, the President of the Republic, and the two-thirds of the members in office of each Chamber, and a plebiscite shall not be applicable in that respect.
- In order to be approved, the amendment proposals concerning Chapters I, VII, X and XI of this Constitution shall meet the requirements stated in the preceding paragraph. However, the proposal so approved, shall not be promulgated, and it will be kept until the following joint renewal of the Chambers, and in the first session held by these Chambers, they shall submit the text already approved to debate and voting; without being subject to any further amendments. Only in case the amendment should be ratified by two-thirds of the members in office of each House of the new Congress, it will be returned to the President of the Republic for promulgation. Nevertheless, if the President should disagree, he may consult the opinion of the citizens through a plebiscite.
- A plebiscite shall be convoked within thirty days following the date on which both Chambers insist upon the proposal approved by them, and it shall be ordered by Supreme Decree fixing the date on which the plebiscite is to be held, provided it will not take place before thirty days nor after sixty days from the date of publication of said decree. Should the President have not convoked a plebiscite within such period of time, the proposal approved by the Congress shall be promulgated. The convoking decree shall contain, as the case may be, the proposal approved by the Plenary Congress and completely vetoed by the President of the Republic, or the matters of the proposal on which the Congress may have insisted.
- In the latter case, each one of the matters in disagreement shall be voted upon separately in the plebiscite. The Elections Qualifying Court shall communicate to the President of the Republic the result of the plebiscite, and shall specify the text of the proposal approved by the citizens; said text shall be promulgated as a constitutional amendment within five days following said communication. Once the proposal has been promulgated, and as of the date it enters into force, its provisions shall become a part of the Constitution and shall be regarded as incorporated therein,
- The present Constitution shall enter into force six months following approval thereof through a plebiscite with the exception of transitory provisions ninth and twenty-third, which shall be in force as from the date of such approval. The official text shall be that appearing in this decree-law. A decree-law shall prescribe for the date on which the aforementioned plebiscite is to be held, as well as for the norms regulating it; and it shall establish the rules to ensure that voting be personal, egalitarian and secret, and with respect to national citizens, compulsory. The norm contained in the above paragraph shall enter into force as from the publication date of the present Constitution.
- Until the time of issuance of provisions to comply with what is prescribed in the third paragraph of No 1, Article 19 of this Constitution, the legal provisions presently in force shall continue to be applicable.
- Until the time of issuance of the new Mining Code which is to regulate, among other matters, the form, conditions and effects of mining concessions as referred to in paragraphs seven to ten of number 24, Article 19 of this Political Constitution, the holders of mining rights, in the capacity of concessionaires, shall be subject to the legislation prevailing at the time this Constitution has entered into force. The mining rights referred to in the preceding paragraph, shall subsist under the new code; however, as regards enjoyment of and levies imposed on such rights, as well as extintion thereof, the provisions of said new Mining Code shall prevail. This new code shall grant a term for concessionaires to comply with the new requirements which may be established in order to be entitled to legal protection.
- During the time between the date on which this Constitution enters into force and that on which the new Mining Code has become effective, the mining rights constituted as a concession pursuant to paragraphs seventeen of No 24, Article 19 of this Constitution, as well as the concessions granted, shall continue to be governed by the current legislation.
- The Large Copper Mining Industry and the enterprises considered as such, nationalized by virtue of transitory provision 17 of the 1925 Political Constitution, shall continue to be governed by constitutional norms in force on the date of promulgation of the present Constitution.
- Once the Constitutional Court becomes established for the first time, the Justices of the Supreme Court referred to in letter (a) of Article 81, who have been elected in the second and third ballot, and the Lawyer appointed by the President of the Republic, as provided in letter (b) of said Article, shall hold office for four years, the other Members shall serve for eight years.
- The laws currently in force on matters which, according to this Constitution, be governed by constitutional organic laws or be approved by a qualified quorum, shall be understood to meet these requirements and shall continue to be applied in so far as they are not contrary to the Constitution, until the pertinent legal bodies are issued.
- Notwithstanding what is provided in No 8 of Article 32, the legal precepts which up to the promulgation date of this Constitution have regulated matters not covered in Article 60, shall continue being in force, as long as they are not expressly derogated by law.
- Without prejudice to what is provided in the third paragraph of No 20, Article 19, the legal provisions which have established appropriation of taxes for a determined purpose, shall continue being in force while not expressly derogated.
- The norms relative to age established in the second paragraph of Article 77, shall not apply as regards Justices of Higher Courts of Justice on duty at the time of the legal effect of this Constitution.
- During the period referred to in the thirteenth transitory provision, the immovability of the Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the General, Director of the Armed Police shall be ruled by the twentieth transitory provision, and the limitation of the period referred to in Article 93 of this Constitution shall not be applicable, period which shall commence four years following completion of the aforementioned presidential term.
- The members of the Constitutional Court referred to in Article 81, shall be designated at least ten days prior to the date on which the first presidential term begins. The National Security Council shall be constituted for this sole purpose, thirty days prior to the date an which this Constitution enters into force.
- Until such time as the constitutional organic law relative to political parties referred to in No 15 of Article 19 comes into force, all activities, actions or negotiations of political-partisan nature shall be banned, whether carried out by individuals or body corporates, organizations, entities or groups of persons. Those who infringe this prohibition shall be liable to the penalties prescribed by the law.
- Article 84 of the Constitution related to the Elections Qualifying Court shall be effective as of the appropriate date in accordance with the respective law, upon the first election of Senators and Deputies, and their Members shall be designated thirty days prior to that date.
- Until such time as the Elections Qualifying Court is constituted, Members of the Regional Electoral Courts, the appointment of whom appertains to such Courts, shall be designated by the respective Court of Appeals.
- The presidential term which shall commence when this Constitution enters in force shall last the time prescribed for in Article 25.
- During this term, all the provisions of the indicated in the following transitory provisions, shall be applicable.
- During the term stated in the preceding provision, the current President, General of the Army, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, shall continue being the President of the Republic and shall remain in office until the end of said term.
- The Government Junta shall, likewise, remain integrated by the Commanders-in-Chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force and by the Director, General of the Armed Police.
- It will be governed by the norms which regulate the internal functioning thereof, and shall have the powers set forth in the corresponding transitory provisions.
- However, in view of the fact that the Commander-in -Chief of the Army, in accordance with the first paragraph of this provision, is the President of the Republic, he shall not form part of the Government Junta; the Officer General of Arms of the Army who follows him in seniority shall act as the incumbent Member in his stead. Nevertheless, the President of the Republic may replace the latter at any time with another Officer General of Arms of his institution in the order of seniority.
- The President of the Republic shall have the powers and obligations prescribed for in this Constitution, with-the following amendments and exceptions:
- He may:
- Decree on his own the states of emergency and of catastrophe where appropriate, and,
- Freely appoint and remove Mayors, throughout the country, without prejudice to his power to cause the full or gradual enforcement of what is provided in Article 108.
- He shall require the agreement of the Junta in order to:
- Appoint Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Director, General of the Armed Police when replacement thereof be necessary by reason of death, resignation or any other type of absolute inability;
- Appoint the Comptroller General of the Republic;
- Declare war;
- Decree the states of assembly and of siege;
- Decide on the admissibility or inadmissibility of accusations which might be brought against the Ministers of State by any private individual for damages suffered unjustly arising from an act committed by them in the exercise of their functions, and
- Leave the country for a period exceeding thirty days or for any time during the last ninety days of his term of office.
- If as a result of a temporary impediment caused by illness, absence from the national territory or by some other serious reason, the President of the Republic should be unable to perform his duties, he shall be subrogated by the incumbent member of the Government Junta, in the appropriate order of precedence, under the title of Vice-President of the Republic.
- In case of death, demission or any kind of absolute impediment of the President of the Republic, his successor shall, for the remaining term, be appointed by unanimous decision of the Government Junta, which shall meet immediately for that purpose. Until such time as the designation be made, the incumbent Member of the Government Junta, entitled by the corresponding order of precedence, shall assume office as Vice-President of the Republic.
- If after forty-eight hours from the moment of its meeting the Government Junta should not have reached a unanimous decision on electing the President of the Republic, the election shall be made by the National Security Council by an absolute majority of its Members; to this effect, the National Security Council shall also be integrated by the Comptroller General of the Republic.
- If an Officer General of Arms or of Order and Security were designated President of the Republic, he shall, as a matter of law, and for the remaining presidential term, assume the office of Commander-in-Chief of this Institution or that of Director, General of the Armed Police, as the case may be; provided he is qualified for that office. In that event, the Officer General of Arms or that of Order and Security who follows him in seniority in the respective Institution, shall become an incumbent Member of the Government Junta, and the final part of the third paragraph of the fourteenth transitory provision with regard to his Institution shall be applied.
- During the period referred to in the thirteenth transitory provision, the Government Junta shall, by unanimity of its Members, be entitled to the following exclusive powers:
- Exercise the Constituent Power, being always subject to approval by plebiscite, to be held in compliance with the rules prescribed by law;
- Exercise the Legislative Power;
- Issue laws concerning interpretation of the Constitution, whenever necessary;
- Approve or reject international treaties, prior to presidential ratification thereof;
- Grant its agreement to the President of the Republic in the cases specified in letter B of the fifteenth transitory provision;
- Grant its agreement to the President of the Republic in order to decree states of assembly and of siege, as the case may be;
- Permit the entry of foreign troops into the territory of the Republic as well as authorize departure of national troops from the country;
- Take cognizance of disputes regarding competence which should arise between political or administrative authorities and the Higher Courts of Justice;
- Grant recovery of citizenship in the cases referred to in No 2, Article 17, of this Constitution;
- Declare, in case of dernission of the President of the Republic or the Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and of the Director, General of the Armed Police, whether or not the reasons therefore are well founded, and, consequently, accept or reject such demissions, and
- Other powers conferred thereupon by other transitory provisions of this Constitution.
- The order of precedence of Members of the Government Junta is as follows:
- Commander-in-Chief of the Army;
- Commander-in-Chief of the Navy;
- Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, and
- Director, General of the Armed Police.
- The above order of precedence shall be modified in the situations set forth in the third paragraph of the fourteenth transitory provision and in the final paragraph of the seventeenth transitory provision; in such cases, the Member of the Government Junta referred to in said provisions, shall assume as incumbent, the fourth order of precedence.
- The Government Junta shall be presided by the Member thereof who should come first in order of precedence in accordance with the two foregoing paragraphs.
- In the case provided in letter B, No 1 of the fifteenth transitory provision, the new Member or Members who should be incorporated in the Government Junta shall keep the order of precedence stated in the second paragraph.
- Whenever one of the incumbent Members of the Government Junta should be temporarily unable to hold office, he shall be subrogated by the corresponding senior Officer General of Arms or that of Order and Security, entitled in accordance with the rules on succession of command in the respective Institution, joining the Junta in the last place of precedence. Should the surrogates be more than one, they shall join the Junta in the order of precedence stated in the second paragraph.
- The Members of the Government Junta shall have the right to propose laws on all those matters which constitutionally are not the exclusive initiative of the President of the Republic.
- The Government Junta shall exercise the Constituent and Legislative Powers by means of laws. Such laws shall be signed by the Members of the Government Junta and by the President of the Republic in testimony of promulgation thereof.
- A complementary law shall establish the working organs and procedures of which the Government Junta should avail itself for exercising the aforementioned Constituent and Legislative Powers. In addition, these complementary norms shall prescribe for the mechanisms enabling the Government Junta to demand the collaboration of the community for the making of the laws.
- In case of doubt as to whether the impediment depriving the President of the Republic from exercising his functions is of such a nature as to require his replacement, the incumbent Members of the Government Junta shall solve such doubt.
- Should the doubt concern the impediment preventing a member of the Government Junta from exercising his functions, and its nature is same as that referred to in the preceding paragraph, the question raised shall be resolved by the other Members of the Government Junta.
- During the period referred to in the thirteenth transitory provision, and until such time as the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies shall take office, the following provisions of this Constitution shall not apply:
- Articles 26 to 31, inclusive, Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6 and second part of No 16 of Article 32; Article 37; and Article 41, No 7, in its reference to Congressmen;
- Chapter V on the National Congress with the exception of No 1 of Article 50, Articles 60, 61; third to fifth paragraphs of Article 62, and Article 64, all of which shall have full force. References made to the National Congress and to any of its Houses in these precepts and No 3 of Article 32, second paragraph of No 6 of Article 41, and Article 73 and 88 shall be construed as made to the Government Junta. Likewise, the election referred to in letter (d) of Article 81, shall be held by the Government Junta;
- In Article 82: Nos. 4, 9 and 11 of the first paragraph, the second paragraph in its reference to No 9, and the eighth, ninth, tenth, twelfth, fourteenth and fifteenth paragraphs. Neither the reference made in No 2 to the constitutional amendment, nor the second part of No 8 of the first paragraph of the same article concerning the President of the Republic, nor the references to that number made by the second and thirteenth paragraphs concerning the matter shall be applicable;
- Chapter XIV, relative to the amendment of the Constitution; The Constitution may only be amended by the Government Junta in exercise of its Constituent Power. However, for such amendments to be effective they should be approved by means of a plebiscite, convoked by the President of the Republic; and
- Any other provisions contrary to those governing the presidential term, referred to in the thirteenth transitory provision.
- To the effects of provision contained in the third paragraph of Article 82 of the Constitution, the Government Junta shall send the proposal referred to in said provision to the Constitutional Court prior to promulgation thereof by the President of the Republic.
- Without prejudice to the power conferred upon the President of the Republic in paragraphs four and seven of Article 82, the Government Junta, in plenary shall formulate the request related to these norms.
- In the case of paragraphs eleven and sixteen of the article mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the Government Junta in plenary shall, likewise, be empowered to make the respective request.
- If between the date of approval of the present Constitution by plebiscite and that of its entry into force, the President of the Republic as referred to in the fourteenth transitory provision should, for any reason, be absolutely prevented from assuming his functions, the Government Junta, by unanimity of its members, shall designate the person who is to assume the office of President of the Republic for the period referred to in the thirteenth transitory provision.
- To this effect, the Government Junta shall be integrated by the Commanders-in-Chief of the Navy and of the Air Force, the Director, General of the Armed Police and by the senior Officer General of Arms of the Army, as incumbent Member.
- If the Government Junta, having constituted as provided for in the preceding paragraph, should not have, within forty-eight hours from a meeting thereof, unanimously elected the President of the Republic, the President of the Supreme Court, the Comptroller General of the Republic and the President of the Council of State shall integrate the Junta for this sole purpose. Thus constituted, the Government Junta, by the absolute majority of its Members, shall designate the President of the Republic, and it shall be understood that the first paragraph of the fourteenth transitory provision refers to him.
- Without prejudice to what is prescribed for in Article 39 and subsequent, the states of exception contemplated by this Constitution, if during the period referred to in the thirteenth transitory provision, acts of violence intended to alter public order should take place, or there should be danger of disturbance of internal peace, the President of the Republic shall so declare and he shall have the following powers for a renewable period of six months:
- To arrest persons for up to five days in their own homes or in places other than jails. Upon occurrence of terrorist acts of serious consequences, he may extend this period for fifteen additional days;
- To restrict the right of assembly and the freedom of information, the latter only with reference to the founding, editing or circulating of new publications;
- To prohibit the entry into the national territory or to expel therefrom those who propagate doctrines as referred to in Article 8 of the Constitution, those accused of being or having reputed to be activists for such doctrines, as well as those who act contrary to the interests of Chile or constitute a danger for internal peace; and
- To order the compulsory permanence of certain persons in an urban locality of the national territory for a period not exceeding three months.
- The President of the Republic shall exercise the powers provided for herein through a decree signed by the Minister of the Interior, in the form of "By Order of the President of the Republic". The measures taken by virtue of this provision shall not be subject to any recourse whatsoever, except that for reconsideration thereof by the authority having ordered them.
- During the period referred to in the thirteenth provision, the National Security Council shall be chaired by the President of the Republic and integrated by the Members of the Government Junta, by the President of the Supreme Court and by the President of the Council of State.
- The Council of State shall continue in functions until such time as the Senate enters into force.
- The incumbent Commanders-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Director, General of the Armed Police shall unanimously propose to the country, subject to the ratification by the citizens, the name of the person who should assume the office of President of the Republic during the presidential term following that referred to in the thirteenth transitory provision, and who is to meet the requirements set forth in Article 25, first paragraph, of this Constitution, and who shall not be subject to the prohibition to be reelected, provided for in the second paragraph of same Article. To that effect, they shall meet at least ninety days prior to the date on which the incumbent is to cease his functions.
- The designation shall be communicated to the President of the Republic for the purpose of convoking the plebiscite.
- Should unanimity have not been reached in the forty-eight hours following the meeting of the Commanders-in-Chief and the Director, General referred to in the preceding paragraph, the proposal shall be made as prescribed for in the second paragraph of the seventeenth transitory provision and the National
- Security Council shall communicate its decision to the President to the same effects as those stated in the foregoing paragraph.
- The plebiscite shall be held not prior to thirty nor after sixty days from the date of the corresponding proposal and shall be carried out in the manner provided for by the law.
- If the will of the citizens, expressed in the plebiscite, should be to approve the proposal made in accordance with the preceding provision, the President of the Republic thus elected shall assume office on the same day on which his predecessor is to cease to hold office, and he shall be in office for the period referred to in the second paragraph of Article 25, and all the precepts of the Constitution shall be applied as follows:
- The President of the Republic shall, nine months after assuming his office, convoke general elections of Senators and Deputies to integrate the Congress in the manner provided for in the Constitution. The election shall be held not earlier than thirty nor later than forty-five days following the convocation and it shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the respective organic law.
- The National Congress shall be constituted three months following the convocation of elections.
- The Deputies of this first Congress shall remain in office for three years. The Senators elected by the odd-numbered regions shall likewise remain in office for three years, and the Senators elected by the even numbered regions and the metropolitan region, as well as those who have been appointed, shall remain in office for seven years, and
- The Government Junta shall continue in full exercise of its powers until such time as the National Congress assumes its functions, and the transitory provisions governing the presidential term as referred to in the thirteenth provision, shall continue in force.
- If the citizens should not approve the proposal submitted to plebiscite as referred to in the twenty-seventh transitory provision, the presidential term referred to in the thirteenth transitory provision shall be understood to have been extended, as a matter of law, the incumbent President of the Republic and the Government Junta shall remain in office in accordance with governing provisions, for the term of one more year. Upon completion of this term, all the precepts of the Constitution shall be in full force.
- To the effect of the foregoing, ninety days prior to the expiration of the extended period referred to in the above paragraph, the incumbent President shall convoke elections of the President of the Republic and of the Congressmen, in accordance with the permanent precepts of this Constitution and the law.