Ecuadorians go to the polls today to decide whether to institute a two-term limit on their country’s presidency. The referendum
Ecuadorians go to the polls today to decide whether to institute a two-term limit on their country’s presidency.
The referendum was put forward by President Lenin Moreno in an implicit rebuke of his predecessor, Rafael Correa. Having served as Correa’s vice president, Moreno was initially expected to hold to the left-wing ex-president’s line and step aside for him in the 2021 election. However, Moreno has shown considerable independence, sacking a Correa loyalist from the vice presidency and making outreach to conservatives.
Voters look set to approve the new term limits, with one poll showing 70% in favour. That result would bar Correa from office; while he would remain a left-wing agitator with a loyal support base, he would stand little chance of returning to the heights of power.
In addition to spoiling a Correa comeback, a referendum win for Moreno would strengthen his independence from the ex-president, allowing him to continue outreach across ideological lines to address problems, like anaemic economic growth. Such a move would be a balancing act; if Moreno seeks reelection he will need some support from Correa’s base.
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