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, October 03, 2008

FACTBOX-Main proposals in Ecuador constitutional reform

Sept 28 (Reuters) - Ecuador President Rafael Correa is expected to win a referendum on Sunday on a new constitution that, if approved, will accelerate his left-wing reforms and expand his control of the oil-exporting nation's economy.

Here are some of the main constitutional reform proposals:


* The state will increase control and regulation of strategic sectors such as oil, mining and telecommunications, and could clamp down on monopolies.

* The president will manage monetary policy instead of the central bank. Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency in 2000 but Correa has been a critic of the move.

* Creates the concept of "illegitimacy" for some foreign loans. The measure could give the government legal backing to follow up on threats to stop some debt payments, although Correa says he plans no drastic measures.


* Allows immediate presidential re-election for a second four-year term. If Correa wins the referendum, he would call new elections for early next year and in theory would be able to serve two terms, taking him to 2017.

* The president could dissolve Congress once during his four-year term but would have to immediately call for general elections to be ratified in his post.


* Grants free health care for all its older citizens. Some economists say universal health care could cost the government billions of dollars and increase the country's financing needs.

* Gives the state the right to expropriate idle farming land to redistribute it. Restricts large landholdings. Land reform is frequently a source of conflict in Latin America.

* Allows for civil unions of gay partners, affording them similar rights to married couples.

* Softens penalties for individual drug use.

* Keeps in place Ecuador's ban on abortion, although critics in the Roman Catholic Church say the new wording means the rules could later be relaxed.

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