Ecuador News

Moreno officially calls for a public referendum that could reverse Correa-era policies

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.

Moreno at the presidential palace.

“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.

  • Dano

    I’ve never understood the need for a law limiting terms. That’s what VOTING is for. If the citizens WANT an official to stay on, they vote for that person to continue. If they don’t like that official and/or he/she has done a poor job, then they vote them OUT. The voters have complete control, so why have a pre-determined term limit?

    • StillAlive

      To protect the nation against the arrogance of executive power associated with long tenures. And if you need case studies, read up on Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua for starters.

      Even the Obama administration (your guy?) has spoken out against term limits: When Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (Marxist) moved to strike down that country’s two-term limit on presidential service, the State Department spoke out against it. Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki wrote in a statement that the measure will “concentrate power and undermine checks and balances.”

      • Jason Faulkner

        Has anyone in any of those countries had a longer tenure than Angela Merkel?

        And seriously, quoting the US State Department (your guy?) on matters of democracy in Latin America is either laughably ignorant of history or willfully accepting of hypocrisy. The US State Department has participated in the violent overthrow of democratically elected governments in almost every country in Latin America and supported more brutal dictatorships than the Soviet Union.

    • StillWatching

      Under your simplistic and naive take on term limits, you would have a situation where votes could be bought to perpetuate those already in power. Buying votes isn’t limited to outright fraud. Have you never heard of lobbyists? Well funded PAC’s?

      I’m 100% in favor of term limits.

    • Globetrotter

      Democracy is a society controlled by the majority of its members. The majority votes in those who they wish to represent them, and the winners must return, after preset periods, and face the voters again.

      Anything that stands in the way of majority control is, by that very fact, anti-democratic. Laws must be enacted to prevent such obstructions. … lobbying, special interest groups, funding from companies, unequal campaign financing and spending, electoral colleges and first-past-the-post parliamentary elections stymie the majority. Systems that tolerate these are not democracies. They remind me of an old saw. “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” In many countries such activity is deemed criminal and rightly treated accordingly.

      In a good democracy, term limits merely mean the majority are not allowed to vote for someone they might want. I fail to see the democratic logic in that.

    • Virginia W.

      Here voters do not have complete control (apparently) There are MANY stories on how the elections were fraudulent.

      • Globetrotter

        Could be. (shrug) Old campaign habits die slowly. It is worse elsewhere. There is no end of ways the majority will can be thwarted. Up north there is an election WINNER who is positive no less than three million votes were cast fraudulently for his opponent. His government-paid appointees are spending millions in a hope of proving him right.

        There is also gerrymandering or even countries that allow corporations (that cannot vote) to heavily finance campaigns.There have been nations where votes in favor are organized for a couple of beers and a weiner per ballot

        But, IMHO, the best bang for the political dollar/energy to subvert the majority is at the candidate nomination stage. It is pathetically easy to manipulate drunken conventions or their rule makers and get in any candidates you choose. After that, it is win-win.

      • Jason Faulkner

        There are many stories on how the world is flat. What there isn’t is any evidence that the assertion is true.

        • Virginia W.

          The ”padron electoral” is part of evidence where foreigners and dead people are registered to vote.

          • Jason Faulkner

            The padron electoral showed that there were dead people registered to vote, mostly because their families didn’t file their death certificates after they passed so they weren’t removed from the rolls. However, there has not been a single case presented of any of those individuals casting a vote.

            Not a single one.

  • Martha Mays

    Do you/ does anyone, know how to submit suggestions to the President?

    • StillWatching

      Ricki hand delivered a suggestion to President Moreno that all services that expats use———- especially IESS healthcare ————- but also all public transportation, entertainment and restaurant food————- should be provided free of charge to expats. Why? Because expats are such wonderful people, are entitled to these things and add so much to the economy and culture here. Ricki also wanted them to add a suggestion that English be made the national language. Ricki is re-thinking that one as I type.

  • Referendum arranging consent following (hopefully clear) discussion is an opportunity for Ecuadorians to exercise sovereignty in the structure of their government. Good governance!

  • Jason Faulkner

    Two months pushing for a referendum yet still hasn’t stated a single question that will appear on the ballot (or even hinted at one). How long can he keep this up before everyone realizes it’s just a distraction from the reality that he hasn’t actually done anything since taking office?