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Chilean President Pinera pushes Bill to boost military police powers

CHILE’S President Sebastian Pinera has announced a Bill to give the military greater authority to intervene in political and civil matters, in response to giant protests.

Mr Pinera has claimed to have listened and learned from anti-neoliberal protests that drew over a million people onto the streets of Santiago and promised to investigate police attacks on demonstrators that killed at least 23 and injured thousands.

But he now wants to change the law so the army can be deployed to “control infrastructure, including essential public services and police activities” without the need to declare a state of emergency.

It would allow the military to “monitor and patrol our streets,” he enthused.

Protests continue in Chile with a mass movement now demanding a new constitution to replace one dating from the Pinochet era.

The Communist Party is calling for a constituent assembly to draft the new constitution, among other demands such as abolishing student debt and raising the minimum wage and pension funds.

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