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, August 18, 2008

Support for New Constitution at 48% in Ecuador

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) 17 August 2008 - Almost half of urban voters in Ecuador are willing to ratify a new constitution, according to a poll by Informe Confidencial. 48 per cent of respondents would vote "Yes" in next month’s referendum.

In addition, 31 per cent of respondents would vote against the proposed body of law, 16 per cent would cast a blank ballot, and six per cent would annul their vote.

Rafael Correa, a former finance minister, ran for president as an independent leftist under the Alliance Country (AP) banner. In November 2006, Correa defeated Álvaro Noboa of the conservative Institutional Renewal Party of National Action (PRIAN) in a run-off with 56.69 per cent of the vote. He officially took over as Ecuador’s head of state in January 2007, and vowed to change the country’s Constitution. Correa’s party nominated no candidates to the National Congress.

In April 2007, Ecuadorian citizens participated in a referendum to enact a Constituent Assembly. The president’s proposal was backed by 82 per cent of all voters. In September, Correa’s supporters—running under the Movement Country (MP) banner—secured 80 seats in the 130-member Constituent Assembly, enough to enact changes without seeking compromises with political opponents.

In November, Ecuador’s Constituent Assembly officially began its work, and suspended the National Congress. The proposed Constitution must be ratified in a nationwide referendum in 2008.

On Jul. 18, a full constitutional draft was approved by the pro-government majority in the Constituent Assembly. Opposition members had stopped working on the document a week earlier and have said they will officially oppose it even if they cannot influence the final decision. The text includes a clause allowing for one consecutive presidential re-election. Two articles that would have legalized same-sex unions and given the indigenous Quechua tongue the status of official language were pulled out at the last minute.

The Electoral Court of Ecuador has scheduled the referendum for Sept. 28. The proposed constitution can only be ratified if the "Yes" side garners the support of more than 50 per cent of all participating voters.

Earlier this month, the "Yes" and "No" sides launched their respective campaigns. Patricio Donoso, head of Ecuador’s Chamber of Commerce, announced that he will be calling for a "No" vote. Donoso stated that the proposed body of law is "centralist, establishes that the State will have exclusive control over everything, and pushes us towards totalitarianism."

Polling Data

How would you vote in the referendum to ratify the new constitution?





Blank vote


Null vote


Source: Informe Confidencial
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 3,800 Ecuadorian adults in urban areas, conducted on Aug. 2 and Aug. 3, 2008. Margin of error is 3.2 per cent.

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