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.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Ecuadorean president's popularity soars in poll

By Alonso Soto and Mario Naranjo

QUITO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa's popularity shot up in October, bolstering his mandate as a government-controlled assembly gears up to overhaul the country's constitution and forge ahead with his leftist agenda, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Cedatos Gallup poll showed Correa's popularity at 72 percent, one of his highest ratings since taking office in January and also one of the top ranking among Latin American leaders.

"We have never seen anything like this in Ecuador ... such a recovery," Cedatos' head pollster Polibio Cordoba told Reuters, adding that their previous poll showed Correa's popularity at 56 percent in August.

While attending a summit of Latin leaders in Chile, Correa said he favors allowing presidents to stand for re-election in his volatile Andean country.

Correa told Chile's Megavision that his government's "position is very clear... we believe in alternating democracy, we believe the people should have the right to re-elect their government if it is a good one."

He did not say if he planned to stand for re-election in late 2010.

His party won a large majority of seats in September on a 130-member assembly to rewrite the constitution, potentially clearing the way for changes to a law that currently prohibits his re-election for a consecutive term.

Correa says he wants the assembly to shut down Congress, call for early presidential and congressional elections and curb the powers of traditional political parties widely blamed for toppling three presidents in a decade.

However, analysts say Ecuador's weak economic performance this year with a flagging trade balance and dropping oil output could hurt the charismatic leader's popularity in 2008.

Correa has spooked foreign investors with his aggressive drive to rework oil deals and pledge to overhaul the country's foreign debt.

The Cedatos poll interviewed 1,288 people in five major cities across the country between Oct. 26 and 30. The survey has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

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