Ecuadorean President Raphael Correa took office January 15 promising his people progressive, revolutionary social and economic change unlike anything this country of mostly impoverished people ever had before under its right wing only governments beholden solely to capital interests. Correa promised a “citizens’ revolution” beginning by drafting a new Constitution in a Constituent Assembly for which a national referendum was held April 15 allowing Ecuadoreans the right to decide on it, not politicians.
Yesterday the people spoke loudly and clearly in favor of proceeding. The referendum was passed overwhelmingly by 78.1% in favor against a mere 11.5% opposed (with remaining ballots left blank or were void) according to a Cedatos-Gallup exit poll conducted among 40,000 voters with a margin of error around 2% that will be very close to the final official vote count due out in a week according to Ecuador’s Supreme Electoral Council (TSE).
The referendum was monitored by representatives from the Organization of American States (OAS) who judged it fair and open, but that judgment won’t likely silence Correa’s critics crying foul, calling the whole process unconstitutional, and saying adopting the “Venezuelan model” will scare off foreign investors – all false and misleading as eight years under Hugo Chavez proves.
Correa is following the same pattern Hugo Chavez chose in 1999 following his first election as
Sunday, President Correa voiced what most Ecuadoreans feel saying “It’s a day of national celebration, a victory for the people, for democracy” as he voted at a polling station in northern
Hugo Chavez congratulated Correa and his people in his weekly Sunday radio and television program “Alo (Hello) Presidente” saying “Correa will go forward with the support of the great majority. We wish the best for the Ecuadorean people and President Correa, who has heeded with courage and valor the call of 21st century socialism.” The sentiment in
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