Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa is claiming victory in the constitutional referendum he called to give himself greater powers, and shackle parliament.
Exit polls suggest his proposals have the support of 78 percent of voters;
“What was on the table was not the reputation of the president of the republic, what was on the table was the future of the country, the future of the nation, and the Ecuadorean people have said ‘yes’ to that future, ‘yes’ to the nation”, said Correa on Sunday night.
Correa has no party support in parliament, and the referendum put his presidency on the line, as he promised to resign if he lost.
Ecuador is one of South America’s smallest nations, but it has big problems of political stability, with parliament ousting eight presidents in the last decade.
In March more than half of the members of parliament were sacked for trying to derail the referendum, and forcibly stopped from returning.
Correa can now say he has a mandate to push forward reforms, like not renewing the lease on a US military base, renegotiating oil contracts, and restructuring the national debt.