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Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Monday signed off on a referendum to be held on a new constitution, which he vowed would generate a “solid, compassionate and legitimate framework” that would help reunify the country after nine weeks of intense protest over inequality and elitism.

Pinera said the plebiscite, which was approved by Congress last week and is to be held next year, would kick-start a process of “broad and effective citizen participation.”

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