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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Correa to win around 50 seats in Ecuador vote-poll

(Ecuadorean law prohibits the dissemination of polls in the 20 days prior to the assembly election. This article is for publication outside of Ecuador)

QUITO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa's Alianza Pais movement should win around 50 seats in Sunday's election for a 130-member assembly, but he will need to form alliances to pass constitutional reforms, a local pollster said on Wednesday.

Cedatos-Gallup chief pollster Polibio Cordova told Reuters the voting intention for Correa's party was stable compared to the previous poll taken earlier this month.

"The government party has the highest chance of forming a simple majority through alliances," Cordova said.

The national assembly will be charged with drafting a new constitution and Correa, a leftist former economy minister, needs a simple majority of 66 seats to pass reforms he says will curb the influence of traditional political parties.

The Cedatos results vary from local pollster Informe Confidencial, which said earlier this week Correa's party could win a simple majority or 66 seats even without alliances and that his popularity remained stable at 75 percent.

Correa's opponents said he wants to use the assembly to consolidate his presidential powers and control key state institutions.

Cedatos' Cordova said 38 percent of voters are still undecided. The poll interviewed 3,992 people and had a margin of error of five percentage points.

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