UPDATED: Ecuador has approved all proposed consultation questions including limitation of reelection to one period.
Vote Results are:
Question 1. 73.1% yes, no 26.29% Elimination from politics because of corruption conviction.
Question 2. 64.21% yes, 35.79% no. Indefinite election reduced to one term.
Question 3. 63.08 yes, 36.92% no. restructure the Citizens Participation and Social Control Council.
Question 4. 73.45% yes. 24.47% Ends prosecution time limits for child sex crimes.
Question 5. 68.62% yes. 31.38% no. Ban on metal mining in protective areas.
Question 6. 63.62% yes. 36.9% no. Revokes land speculation law known as Plusvalía.
Question 7. 67.32% yes. 32.68% no. Limits petroluem activities in the Yasuni reserve to less acres.
By Ronald J. Morgan
Less than a year since Ecuador voted to keep the Alianza Pais in power, voters are being called back to the polls. But this time, it is to decide a number of issues which if passed, will move the country away from the policies of former president Rafael Correa (2007-2017) and his Citizen’s Revolution. 1,2,3
President Lenin Moreno of Alianza Pais won the second round vote, April 2, with 51.16% of the votes against 48.84% for conservative Guillermo Lasso of the CREO Party Lasso. But shortly after taking office President Lenin Moreno took offense to the former president and the state of affairs found after his inauguration. 4
With a shortfall in government finances and debt reaching 40% of GDP, Moreno was forced to adopt an austerity budget. Moreno also announced a no-holds barred fight against corruption, which was becoming more obvious. Within months his Vice president, Jorge Glas, was tried and sentenced to six years in prison on charges of receiving bribes from the Brazilian Olderbrecht construction corporation. 5
Moreno has converted his government into the major opposition force and formed friendly ties with groups on the outs with the Citizens Revolution. Correa has referred to Moreno as a “traitor”.
Moreno has called for an end to indefinite reelection: “An indefinite reelection becomes a dictatorship disguised in democracy,” he told the Spanish daily El Pais in an interview.
Moreno also stressed a need for “full independence” for the public prosecutors and the justice system.
The Feb. 4, consultation, which allows voters to decide on the issue of indefinite re-election (The Ecuador General Assembly approved indefinite re-election in 2015), is at the heart of the dispute over whether Rafael Correa was becoming overly powerful and could rule for too many years. Correa has called the consultation a Coup d’Etat aimed at ending his political career. Correa is still young, at age 54.
Whether the political atmosphere has shifted against Correa will determine the outcome. Recent opinion polls show strong support for the consultation. The firm Cedatos reported 70.6% approval for restricting re-election. But polls have been innaccurate in Ecuador in the past.
Correa returned to Ecuador from self-exile in Belgium briefly in November, and then again, in January, to fight the Lenin-turn-to-the-right. Correa has called the current situation an already predicted Conservative Restoration.
Groups backing the Moreno consultation include CREO, Alianza Pais (ProMoreno) Unidad Popular, Union Ecuatoriana, Partido Social Cristiano, Centro Democratico, Izquierda Democratica, Adelate Ecuatoriano, Jusiticia Social, Fuerza Ecuador, Fuerza Compromiso Social, SUMA, Pachakutik, Concertacion, Avanza and Partido Socialista.
Other support has come from the indigenous organization, Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas (Conaie) and the Union Group, Frente Unitario de Trabajadores (FUT).
The fight between the pro-Lenin and pro-Correa forces has resulted in a breaking up of the Alianza Pais party. First Correa supporters attempted to oust Moreno from leadership of the party. But a legal decision declared the president head of the party. As a result, Correa and his supporters have left the party and formed the new Revolucion Ciudadana party. The new party has the support of 28 members in congress. Nevertheless, the National Election Council has refused to allow the registration of the party name saying it is a slogan from another party. The Partido Alianza Pais breakup has also left the congress without an official majority. 6, 7, 8
In recent months other efforts to discredit the Correa years have sprouted. These include an audit to determine the reasons for Ecuador´s high debt. 9
During the consultation campaign Correa has complained that he has been ignored by the local print press — a group he has fought with in the past. The controversial Ley de Medios law, which restricted press freedoms to some extent, is not up for consideration during the vote.
Sporadic Anti-Correa violence has also occurred at various points during the campaign.
The consultation asks voters to consider on seven questions which would:
- Ban those convicted of corruption from politics.
- Amend the constitution to restrict reelection to one additional period.
- Amend the constitution to restructure the Citizens Participation and Social Control council. (The council investigates, monitors and chooses the Procuraduría General del Estado, Defensoria del Pueblo, Defensoría Pública, Fiscalía General del Estado y Contraloría General del Estado, the members of Consejo Nacional Electoral, Tribunal Contencioso Electoral y Consejo de la Judicatura.) The approval would allow removal of the members of the current council and appointment of a transitory council to assume the duties of evaluating the performance of the proposed justice sector officials. The nominees would then be elected by the public.
- Prohibit proscription of punishment for sexual crimes against children leaving the crimes open to prosecution forever, much as in crimes against humanity.
- Prohibit metal mining in all levels in protected areas, intangible zones, and urban centers.
- Revoke the Plusvalia law known as the Ley Organica Para Evitar Especulation Sobre el Valor de Tierras. This anti land sepculation law is to be lifted to facilitate construction activity.
- Increase the ecological untouchable zone of the Yasuni reserve by 50,000 hectares and reduces the area of petroleum exploration authorized by the General Assembly in the Parque Nacional Yasuni from 1,300 hectares to 300 hectares. 10
1. Alta tensión contra Rafael Correa a una semana de la consulta popular de Ecuador https://elpais.com/internacional/2018/01/28/america/1517104003_792762.html?id_externo_rsoc=TW_CC
2. Máxima tensión en Ecuador rumbo a la consulta popular que puede marcar el ocaso de Rafael Correa https://www.infobae.com/america/america-latina/2018/01/28/maxima-tension-en-ecuador-rumbo-a-la-consulta-popular-que-puede-marcar-el-ocaso-de-rafael-correa/
3. Gustavo Larrea: Se está jugando la posibilidad de derrotar en las urnas al proyecto autoritario que encabezó Rafael Correa https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2018/01/03/nota/6548296/gustavo-larrea-se-esta-jugando-posibilidad-derrotar-urnas-proyecto?&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social-media&utm_campaign=addtoany
4. La disputa entre Correa y Moreno se proyecta en 3 escenarios
5. Ecuador: el vicepresidente Jorge Glas, sentenciado a 6 años de prisión en caso Odebrecht http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-42346644#
6. Correístas dejan oficialismo de Ecuador y forman partido Revolución Ciudadana http://laestrella.com.pa/internacional/america/correistas-dejan-oficialismo-ecuador-forman-partido-revolucion-ciudadana/24043535
7. El CNE niega el pedido de clave al partido Revolución Ciudadana
8. Partidos cabildean para tener mayoría en la Asamblea Nacional
9. ¿Rafael Correa en la mira de organismos judiciales?https://www.telesurtv.net/news/rafael-correa-denuncia-caceria-persecucion-judicial-20180131-0061.html
10. ¿Sabes cuáles son las siete preguntas de la Consulta Popular y qué dicen? Te lo contamos http://www.elcomercio.com/afull/preguntas-consultapopular-ecuador-explicacion-referendo.html