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Montevideo, October 22nd 2018 - 05:46 UTC

Ecuadorean president wins referendum, barring Correa's hopes of reelection

Tuesday, February 6th 2018 - 09:17 UTC
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“The victory of the ‘yes’ vote opens the path for us to work together, confrontation is a thing of the past,” Moreno said in a televised broadcast “The victory of the ‘yes’ vote opens the path for us to work together, confrontation is a thing of the past,” Moreno said in a televised broadcast
The elections council said some 64% of voters had supported changing the re-election rules, while 36% of voters were opposed The elections council said some 64% of voters had supported changing the re-election rules, while 36% of voters were opposed

Ecuadoreans on Sunday voted to prevent presidents from holding more than two terms in office, according to the elections council, a win for President Lenin Moreno that blocks his mentor-turned-adversary Rafael Correa from returning to power. The results from the referendum, called by Moreno, roll back a measure Correa pushed through Congress in 2015 to allow unlimited presidential re-election.

 “The victory of the ‘yes’ vote opens the path for us to work together, confrontation is a thing of the past,” Moreno said in a televised broadcast, an apparent reference to Correa’s famously combative style. “The old politicians will not return.”

Moreno may now be emboldened to remove Correa allies from key government posts, and financial markets will likely see the result as confirming a more politically and fiscally conservative future for the oil exporting country.

The elections council said some 64% of voters had supported changing the re-election rules, while 36% of voters were opposed. It cited a quick count, which uses the results of a representative sample of polling stations to estimate the winner.

The referendum is legally binding and implies a direct change to the constitution.

Voters also gave broad backing to six other measures, including limits on oil production and mining in environmentally sensitive areas, and stiffer penalties for corruption. Some of those will require the involvement of Congress.

Correa said the referendum was aimed at destroying his legacy. “The struggle continues,” he wrote via Twitter. “We cannot accept such a constitutional rupture.”

Correa led Ecuador between 2007 and 2017, a period that saw him win support for anti-poverty programs but criticism for excessive confrontation and for allowing corruption to flourish.

He declined to run in 2017 and tapped Moreno, then Vice President, as the ruling party candidate. He now says Moreno is a “traitor” seeking to annihilate him politically.

Though he has been living in Brussels with his Belgian wife since leaving office, he has returned several times to whip up support during campaign stops across Ecuador.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • DemonTree

    What the heck is going on in Ecuador? Is it some personal thing between Correa and Moreno, or a bigger disagreement on policy?

    Reinstating term limits certainly seems like a good thing, but Moreno changing policies away from the ones he campaigned on - with Correa's support - could be. Banning indefinite reelection makes it even more important that people can reply on politicians in the same party to have broadly similar policies, and to do what they say they would once elected.

    Feb 06th, 2018 - 12:14 pm +1
  • Papa

    You can draw a parallelism between Correa-Moreno and Santos-Uribe in Colombia

    Feb 06th, 2018 - 05:08 pm 0
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