Chile votes to end dictatorship-era electoral system
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Chile votes to end dictatorship-era electoral system

Chile’s Senate has voted to end a dictatorship-era electoral system that has squeezed out independent candidates and guaranteed an outsized presence in Congress for the center-right coalition.

The “binominal” system has been in place since the end of the 17-year dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet in 1990. This is the first time there are enough votes in Congress to end it.

See also: Thousands march in Chile to demand constitutional reform

Senators approved the measure Wednesday 24-3. It had already been approved by the lower house and will now be reviewed by a joint commission before taking effect for the 2017 midterm elections.

The system distorts the vote by giving half the seats in each district to the trailing coalition as long as it gets at least a third of the votes.

Associated Press