President wins Ecuador charter vote

Public is in favour of rewriting constitution to give president more powers.

    In the past, Correa has scared foreign investors with threats to stop making debt payments [AFP]

    Winning the referendum allows Correa to push ahead with initiatives such as ending the lease on a US military base, re-negotiating oil deals and restructuring the national debt.
     
    In the past he has scared foreign investors with threats to stop making debt payments and promised to cut off contact with the International Monetary Fund.
     
    But some economists predict that investors will welcome Correa's victory, as strengthening the presidency would mean Ecuador's leader will feel less pressure to maintain his approval ratings by implementing policies such as slashing debt payments and consequently push Ecuadorean bond prices higher.
     
    Volatile politics
     
    Critics of Correa say he is centralising power around himself and could become too powerful.
     
    But Ecuador's politics are volatile, the country has seen eight presidents in a decade, three of them toppled by public action, and the landscape could change again by September when another election will be held to select 130 members for the assembly.
     
    Lucio Gutierrez, Ecuador's former president who was toppled from power by massive street demonstrations in 2005, remains a political influence and has vowed to use the 130-member body against Correa.
     
    "I will defeat him in the assembly," he said on Ecuadorean television after the exit poll result.
     
    Voting is mandatory for Ecuadoreans and Sunday's turnout appeared as high as for last year's presidential election.
     
    Correa had staked his political career on the vote, pledging to resign if he failed to win emphatically.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.