Santiago, April 7 (IANS) Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced that this week's landmark polls to elect for councillors, mayors and, for the first time ever, regional governors and members of a constituent assembly to draft a new Constitution, will be postponed till May 15-16 due to a Covid-19 resurgence.
In a speech at the government palace, Pinera on Tuesday said the decision prioritises the health of both the country's democracy and its people, reports Xinhua news agency.
"Given the strong re-emergence of the coronavirus pandemic and the appearance of new variants, not only in Chile, but throughout the world, and considering the high demand our health system is facing it did not seem prudent or advisable to hold elections this coming weekend," he said.
The much-anticipated elections are set to elect 155 constituents to draw up a new Constitution as a political solution to the social unrest that erupted in October 2019.
Similarly, the Governors of each of the country's 16 regions will be elected for the first time.
According to Pinera, a high abstention rate would mar the elections if it were to be held this weekend.
"And a high abstention, without a doubt, affects the health of our democracy," the President added.
Chile's overall caseload stands at 1,037,780, while the death toll has increased to 23,734.