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.

Monday, July 28, 2008

FACTBOX-Major changes in Ecuador's proposed constitution

QUITO, July 25 (Reuters) - President Rafael Correa's allies proposed a new constitution late Thursday that would boost the leftist president's powers if a majority of Ecuadoreans approve it in a September referendum.

Here are some of the key constitutional changes approved in a vote at the 130-member assembly on the final draft:


* The state would have more control and regulation over strategic sectors such as oil, mining and telecommunications, and could tighten regulation on monopolies.

* The president would manage monetary and lending policy instead of the central bank, which would lose its autonomy. Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency in 2000, but Correa has been a critic of the move that aimed to halt the rapid devaluation of the national currency.

* Forbid most international arbitration on future foreign contractual rows.


* Create the concept of "illegitimacy" for some foreign loans and promote civilian audits of debt. The measure could give the government powers to repeal debt or a legal base on which to challenge credits in courts.


* Allow immediate presidential re-election for a four-year term.

* The president could dissolve Congress but would have to immediately run for re-election. Likewise, Congress could fire the president but the move would trigger a legislative and presidential election.


* Boost the powers of a Constitutional Court, which could be key for the president to stay in office if challenged by the legislature.

* Restructure courts throughout the country, including the top electoral tribunal, and overhaul the Supreme Court by reopening all positions on the tribunal to a new selection process.


* The state would have the right to expropriate idle farming land to redistribute it. Bans large land-holdings.

* There would be a ban on genetically modified seeds, with the exception of some crops approved by the president and Congress.

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