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Montevideo, March 24th 2023 - 10:39 UTC



Ecuador's Congress yields and approves referendum

Tuesday, February 13th 2007 - 20:00 UTC
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Pte. Rafael Correa Pte. Rafael Correa

Ecuador's Congress backed Tuesday a call by President Rafael Correa for a referendum on a national assembly that would then rewrite the country's constitution.

The motion was passed in the 100-seat Congress by 57-1 with most opposition members walking out before the vote. An agreement between pro-government lawmakers and a minority opposition party helped the motion through. An attempt to discuss the measure last month was cancelled after pro-Correa supporters stormed the session, accusing opposition politicians of blocking reform. President Correa was elected as an independent promising to curb the powers and privileges of the political elite and parties that he claims are behind the country's economic plight. However Congress ruled out a vote on 18 March, as requested by Mr Correa, saying it was too soon. Doubts also still remain as to who would organise the referendum. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal says it does not have the funding but President Correa has warned that if it cannot organise the vote, "a special ad hoc court should take its place". But Congress also stated on Tuesday that a "special court" as anticipated by Correa would "violate the constitutional order and lack legal foundation". Public opinion polls show that 70% of Ecuadorians would vote in favor of the national assembly and the re-writing of the constitution. But opposition representatives claim President Correa is threatening democratic governance and stability with "mob rule".

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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