State Structure and Political System of Chile

By | April 26, 2022

According to microedu, Chile is a unitary presidential democratic republic. The Constitution, adopted in 1980, was reformed in 1989, important partial changes were also made in 1991, 1994, 1996. The process of bringing the Constitution in line with the needs of modern society continues.
Since 1974, an administrative division has been introduced in Chile, according to which the country is divided into 40 provinces, which are included in 13 regions: Tarapaca, Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins, Maule, Bio-Bio, Araucania, Los Lagos, Aisén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica, Metropolitan Region (Santiago).

The largest cities in Chile (1998, thousand people): Santiago, Concepcion (368.4), Viña del Mar (334.8), Valparaiso (284.1), Temuco (260.1), Antofagasta (246.0).

Government in Chile is divided into three independent branches: executive, legislative and judicial.

The head of state is the president, who is also the head of the executive branch.

The supreme body of executive power is the cabinet of ministers, which is formed by the president of the country and occupies a dependent position in relation to the president. The cabinet consists of 21 ministers.

The highest legislative body is the National Congress, which consists of the Senate (46 senators) and the Chamber of Deputies (120 deputies).

The President is elected by direct, universal and secret suffrage for a term of 6 years and cannot run 2 times in a row. Deputies of the Congress are elected for 4 years, senators – for 8 years. The Senate also has an institution of appointed and life senators.

The heads of the provinces are intendants (governors). They are appointed by the president of the country for a period of 6 years and can be removed by the head of state.

Municipal authorities are directly elected for a term of 4 years. Mayors are appointed by municipal governments. Reforms in recent years aimed at decentralizing power have led to the transfer of many functions to municipal governments.

The oldest political party in Chile. – Radical Party, founded in 1863.

In the beginning. 1988 parties and movements of a wide ideological spectrum opposed to the military government joined the coalition of the United Parties for Democracy (OPD). The victory won by this association in a popular plebiscite on March 5, 1988, opened the way for democratic changes in the country. The OPD includes: the Christian Democratic Party (CDP), the Socialist Party of Chile (CHP), the Party for Democracy (PD), the Social Democratic Radical Party (SDRP).

The Christian Democratic Party was founded in 1957. The organizer and ideologist of the party was E. Frei Montalva. CDA leaders were elected presidents in 1964 (E. Frey), in 1989 (P. Aylvin), in 1993 (E. Frey Ruiz-Tagle).

Forerunner of the Socialist Party of Chile. The organizations set up by the utopian socialists F. Bilbao and S. Arcos in 1850 became organizations. Recabarrena. In 1922 the party was transformed into the Communist Party. Organizations that were not members of the Communist Party united, creating the Socialist Party of Chile in 1933. The HRC has been repeatedly represented in the country’s government and in Congress. In 1970, party leader S. Allende became president of the country. In 1988, the HRC became part of the OPD. In the elections of 1999-2000, the leader of the Socialists R. Lagos, as a representative of the UPD, became the winner and took the presidency.

The Party for Democracy was organized in 1987 and is a kind of conglomerate of parties and movements. The leaders of the socialists took part in the creation of the party, incl. R. Lagos. The party is allowed dual membership. Party members hold prominent positions in Congress and government.

The right-wing parties of Chile enter the Union for the sake of Chile. The coalition was founded in 1993. The association includes the National Renewal Party and the Independent Democratic Union.

The National Renewal Party is a right-wing opposition party to democratic forces. Created in 1988. Representatives of the National Renewal Party are members of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

The Independent Democratic Union was founded in 1989. A more radical right-wing party than its coalition ally. The union took shape organizationally already in 1983, while other parties did not have the right to legal activity. This was due to the significant contribution from the members of the organization to the implementation of the policy of the junta.

The most representative association of business circles in the country is the Association of Entrepreneurs in Industry (SOFOFA), St. 2500 members.

In foreign policy, Chile adheres to the principles of open democracy, Chile advocates the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, and at the regional level promotes integration and preservation of peace, building up dialogue and strengthening solidarity in the region. Chile supports the establishment of ALCA. On the world stage, Chile sees its priorities in contacts with the EU and with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

The armed forces of Chile trace their history from the troops created in this region in 1603 by order of the Spanish crown. These first military associations in South America became the basis of the Chilean national army, formed on December 2, 1810 by order of Bernardo O’Higgins. By his own order, the first military school was opened in 1817, and a naval squadron of Chile was created, designed to ensure Chile’s hegemony in the Pacific Ocean.

The modern structure of the Chilean army: Ground forces, aviation, fleet, tank units, special forces of mountain troops, civil defense troops, carabinieri corps, as well as the Antarctic military base.

The number of Armed forces in con. 20th century amounted to approx. 91 thousand people, incl. in the Ground Forces – 51 thousand (and 50 thousand reservists), in the Navy – approx. 25 thousand, in the Air Force – 13.4 thousand. The corps of paramilitary police forces in 1996 totaled 31.2 thousand people. Spending on the Armed Forces in 1999 was 3.1% of GDP.

Chile Politics