President Lenin Moreno made it official Monday: Ecuador’s voters are headed to the polls in a vote that could make fundamental changes to how the country is governed.
“We are going to the people’s consultation,” the president said Monday night. “Before we vote, there will be a full dialog and debate of the questions that appear on the ballot,” he said. He repeated his support for a direct vote on key issues, saying that it is the “truest representation of democracy.”
Moreno said that the questions to be included on the referendum will be announced October 2 and that he will receive suggestions from organizations and the general public through September 26. He did not say when the vote would be scheduled, although it could come before the end of the year. The wording of referendum questions must be approved by the constitutional court before ballots are printed.
Among the questions almost certain to be on the ballot are one that would reverse a constitutional amendment allowing the president to be re-elected indefinitely and another that would eliminate or change the role of the Council for Citizen Participation and Control Social (CPCCS), which has been criticized for giving legislative power to the president.
The elimination of indefinite presidential re-election is opposed by National Assembly members loyal to former president Rafael Correa since its enactment would mean that Correa would not be eligible to run again for president.
Other issues that might be put to a vote include Ecuador’s communication law, which gives the government regulatory authority over the news media, and the current management of the judicial system, both introduced during the Correa administration.