Referendum will bring ‘new generation’ into government and restore participatory democracy in Ecuador, Moreno says

Sep 26, 2017 | 10 comments

Ecuador’s government needs fresh faces and new ideas, President Lenin Moreno said Monday night. “We need an on-going renewal of government which means bringing young people into the process,” he said. “The public consultation will allow voters to participate in this renewal,” he added in his weekly Government Report.

President Lenin Moreno

Moreno, who announced earlier that he will release the questions to be included on the referendum on October 2, said the public will have the opportunity to “return the country to participatory democracy envisioned in the Montecristi constitution.” Adopted in 2009, during the presidency of Rafael Correa, the constitution was subsequently amended in ways Moreno says weakens the democratic process.

“With the referendum, we will return to the spirit of citizen participation and freedom laid out in the original constitution,” he said. He added that he has received “many excellent suggestions” for referendum questions and takes them all seriously.

Moreno’s call for new faces is an apparent reference to efforts by Correa and his supporters in the National Assembly to keep a question about presidential term limits off the referendum ballot. The National Assembly voted to amend the constitution in 2015 to allow presidents to run indefinitely for reelection. One question likely to be on the ballot, supported by Moreno, allows voters to choose to  return to the eight-year term limit prescribed in the 2009 constitution.

Moreno borrowed an old quote of Correa’s to support his call for renewal in government. “He once said that politicians become obsolete and need to be replaced,” Moreno said. “I agree completely.”

During his comments, Moreno also discussed his recent trip to the United Nations and efforts for a new nuclear arms ban treaty, the ratification of the Paris climate agreement, the international fight against gender violence, and the peace process in Colombia.