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

Poll: Ecuadorian president wins referendum on constitution

QUITO, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has won Sunday's referendum on his country's new constitution with a 66.4 percent "yes" vote, exit polls reveal.

"Three to one!" Correa shouted jubilantly upon hearing the news that at least 66 percent of voters were in favor of the constitution, according to the Santiago & Perez polling firm.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa (L) waves to supporters during the referendum vote in Quito Sept. 28, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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"We're making history, onward!" said the president from his coastal hometown of Guayaquil, accompanied by his political bureau members and supporters of the ruling party Alianza Pais (Country Alliance).

The party began celebrations at the Guayaquil jetty after the exit poll results were made public.

According to another poll by Cedatos, 70 percent of voters were in favor of the new constitution.

The approval will significantly broaden Correa's powers and allow him to run for two more consecutive terms.

According to President Correa, the new constitution will give political stability to Ecuador, eradicate neo-liberalism and set up socialist bases in the country.

Accompanied by Vice President Lenin Moreno and many supporters of the ruling party, Correa voted at a school in the district of Chaupicruz in the north of the capital Quito.

Correa said the holding of the referendum was a "victory of democracy and of the Ecuadorian people," because "everybody could go to vote and decide the future of the country."

The new constitution foresees a consecutive re-election of the president, a re-organization of the judicial system and prohibits press monopolies and the installation of foreign military bases in the country.

It also guarantees the control of the government in strategic national sectors like oil, mining and agriculture.

The Ecuadorian Electoral Supreme Tribunal (TSE) said 9.7 million citizens cast their votes in the country, while 165,000 voted abroad, mainly in Spain and the United States.

The TSE will give out preliminary results late Sunday, but the counting of the votes will only be completed Monday.

Some 30,000 policemen helped maintain order during the referendum, which was supervised by some 2,000 national and international observers.

However, former Ecuadorian president Lucio Gutierrez has criticized the new constitution, saying that it would allow the current authorities to remain in power indefinitely.

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