Ecuador holds poll on presidential term limits

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Quito, Feb 5 (IANS) Ecuadorians went to the polls to vote on whether or not to scrap a constitutional amendment allowing indefinite re-election.

The referendum called by Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno is viewed by some as an attempt to thwart the political ambitions of his predecessor Rafael Correa, whose government proposed the amendment.

The head of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Nubia Villacis, announced on Sunday that “100 per cent of the voting stations are making it feasible for citizens to exercise their right to vote”, Xinhua news agency reported.

The more than 35,000 stations… also have the capacity to tabulate the votes, Villacis added.

More than 13 million citizens, including some 40,000 Ecuadorians living abroad, are eligible to vote on seven questions, five of them proposed Constitutional amendments.

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A second key amendment proposes barring politicians convicted of corruption from ever holding public office.

Correa, who served as president for 10 years (2007-2017) then went to live in Belgium with his family, returned to Quito in early January to campaign in favor of preserving the Constitutional amendment that allows indefinite reelection.

Moreno has said term limits are needed “to guarantee the principle of alternance” between different political currents.

“From my perspective, and I think from an ethical one, (indefinite re-election) is a political aberration,” Moreno has said.

–IANS

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