The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ecuador Correa gains before assembly vote: pollster

By Alonso Soto

QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa is close to winning a majority in Sunday's election of a national assembly to rewrite the constitution, a local pollster said on Saturday.

Polibio Cordova of Cedatos-Gallup told Reuters Correa's party had gained ground and was near the 66-seat majority needed to pass constitutional reforms in the 130-member assembly, which the leftist president says should dissolve Congress and limit the influence of traditional parties.

Investors are watching Ecuador's vote closely as they are worried a convincing win could give the leader a stronger mandate to carry out his promises to increase state control over the economy and natural resources.

"There is a very favorable trend for the government. ... there is a high probability he will win a simple majority with only a few alliances," said Cordova, who declined to release figures, citing an agreement with poll subscribers.

More than 3,000 candidates including an ex-guerrilla, a priest and former beauty queens are vying for a seat in the assembly that will draft the oil-producing country's 20th constitution.

Correa, a leftist allied with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, says the assembly should introduce sweeping reforms in a country where many blame traditional political parties for ousting three elected presidents in the last decade.

The 44-year-old former economy minister has campaigned hard in tough barrios and rural hamlets before the vote, calling on backers "to deliver a beating to the traditional parties."

A weakened opposition led by toppled President Lucio Gutierrez and Correa's former presidential rival Alvaro Noboa has vowed to block the president from using the assembly to consolidate his powers as his ally Chavez did in 1999.

"A crushing victory will give Correa enough strength to forge ahead with his most radical policies," said Simon Pachano, a professor with Ecuador's branch of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences.

"He will not seek too many concessions or negotiate with centrist parties," he said. "I don't think he will turn more moderate."

Correa has recently softened his tone on pledges to restructure the country's foreign debt and overhaul foreign oil contracts.

A Cedatos poll earlier this week showed Correa's party would win 50 seats in the assembly, but Cordova said the most recent survey conducted September 25-28 showed he could win "much more now."

Cordova said 28 percent of voters are still undecided. The national poll interviewed 3,887 people and had a margin of error of five percentage points.

No comments:

Post a Comment