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Chile says assembly to draft new constitution will start work July 4

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Chile's President Sebastian Pinera attends his annual State of the Nation address in Santiago, Chile June 1, 2021. Chile Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

SANTIAGO, June 20 (Reuters) - Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on Sunday the assembly to draft a new constitution for the copper-producing country, replacing the one inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, will hold its first session on July 4.

The re-writing of the constitution is the result of a broad political consensus agreed to after the violent social protests that broke out at the end of 2019 over inequality in a nation known for its decades-long embrace of free market policies.

"This convention undoubtedly represents a great opportunity to achieve a new constitution that will be recognized and respected by all Chileans under a framework of unity and stability toward the future for our democracy," Pinera said.

The convention will consist of 155 delegates elected in May. They will have up to one year to submit a draft text, which must then be put to a popular vote in a referendum.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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