Voters will decide in April on Noboa’s proposals to fight narco crime and to boost the economy

Feb 11, 2024 | 0 comments

Ecuadorians will go the polls in April to vote on 10 questions President Daniel Noboa claims are critical for success in the fight against organized drug crime and for reviving the economy. On Friday night, Noboa signed the order instructing the National Elections Commission (CNE) to organize and set a date for the election.

President Daniel Noboa has instructed the Elections Commission to organize an election to answer 10 referendum questions to bolster the fight against narco crime and change labor and arbitration laws.

By law, the CNE has 60 days to prepare the election.

The 10 questions will be divided into two parts, six are labeled “popular consultation” and involve changes and additions to existing laws, and four, labeled “referendum,” that propose changes to the Constitution.

Although the Constitutional Court rejected 10 of Noboa’s original question, the president said the 10 that were approved are the most important. “I regret the other questions will not go to the voters, and the court explained their reason for rejecting them,” he said. “I am satisfied, however, that this government’s primary concerns can be addressed the remaining 10. Having the assistance of the armed forces in the war against narco terrorist is essential for restoring peace to Ecuador. Restoring economic vitality is equally important and voters will have the opportunity to approve two questions toward this objective.”

The six popular consulation questions are:

  1. Do you agree that the Armed Forces should carry out permanent control of weapons, ammunition, explosives and accessories on the routes, roads, roads and corridors authorized for entry to social rehabilitation centers?
  2. Do you agree with increasing the penalties for the crimes of: (i) terrorism and its financing, (ii) illicit production and trafficking of controlled substances, (iii) organized crime, (iv) murder, (v) contract killings, (vi) trafficking in persons, (vii) kidnapping for ransom, (viii) arms trafficking, (ix) money laundering and (x) illegal activity of mineral resources, reforming the Organic Comprehensive Penal Code in accordance with the Annex to the question?
  3. Do you agree that persons deprived of their liberty should serve their entire sentence within the social rehabilitation centers for the offences detailed in the Annex to the question, amending the Organic Comprehensive Penal Code as stated in the aforementioned Annex?
  4. Do you agree that the offense of possession or carrying of weapons, ammunition or components that are for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces or the National Police, without affecting firearms permitted for civilian use, should be criminalized by amending the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code in accordance with the annex to the question?
  5. Do you agree that weapons, their parts or pieces, explosives, ammunition, or accessories that were instruments or material objects of a crime, may be intended for the immediate use of the National Police or the Armed Forces by amending the Comprehensive Organic Penal Code in accordance with the Annex to the question?
  6. Do you agree that the State should proceed to be the owner of assets of illicit or unjustified origin, simplifying the procedure of the Organic Law on Asset Forfeiture, as set out in the Annex to the question?

The four referendum questions are:

  1. Do you agree to allow the extradition of Ecuadorians, subject to the conditions, requirements, restrictions and impediments established in the Constitution, international instruments and the law, by amending the Constitution and reforming the laws, in accordance with Annex 1?
  2. Do you agree with the establishment of specialized judicatures in constitutional matters, both in first and second instance, to hear the jurisdictional guarantees to which they are entitled, amending the Constitution and reforming the Organic Law on Jurisdictional Guarantees and Constitutional Control, in accordance with Annex 2?
  3. Do you agree that the Ecuadorian State should recognize international arbitration as a method of settling investment, contractual or commercial disputes?
  4. Do you agree to amend the Constitution of the Republic and reform the Labour Code for fixed-term and hourly employment contracts, when entered into for the first time between the same employer and worker, without affecting the acquired rights of workers, in accordance with Annex 4?

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