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.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Correa to call elections in Ecuador after constitution is approved, 1 October, 2007

Quito - Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Monday that he will call a new presidential and legislative election after the country's new constitution is drafted and approved in a referendum. The left-wing populist Correa's party obtained a large majority in Sunday's election of members of the constituent assembly, according to unofficial data. Official results will take 20 to 30 days.

The constituent assembly is scheduled to start working on October 31 in the small coastal town of Montecristi and is charged with drawing up a constitutional text within six months. Its mandate could be extended for an additional three months, and the text is then to be subjected to a referendum.

The dissolution of the country's unicameral Congress is expected to be among the assembly's first moves allegedly in order to prevent the Congress from interfering with the work to rewrite the constitution.

There are no representatives of Correa's party in the current Congress, since the president declined to field candidates in last year's election and instead sought the installation of a constituent assembly to reshape Ecuador's institutions.

Correa, 44, said he was confident that his party would obtain at least 80 of the 130 seats in the constituent assembly. The president had aimed for 66 seats, which would give him an absolute majority.

He said the unofficial results of Sunday's election show Ecuador is not a divided country, as his critics claim.

Correa - an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - called his presumed triumph "historic" and insisted it is a victory for all Ecuadorians. The president stressed that his party's candidates will not say yes to all his requests but will be "80 clear consciences and lucid minds for the homeland."

Both a quick count by a non-governmental organization and an exit poll give Correa's party Alianza Pais a large majority in the constituent assembly.

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