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Ecuador electoral tribunal confirms massive vote for constitutional reform

[JURIST] Jorge Acosta, president of Ecuador's Supreme Electoral Tribunal [official website, in Spanish] confirmed Friday that in a referendum last Sunday an overwhelming majority of voters approved [JURIST report] the convening of a constitutional assembly to rewrite the country's constitution [text, in Spanish]. Acosta said 81.72 percent of voters approved the measure and 12.43 percent voted against; 5.85 percent of ballots were either blank or disqualified. The tribunal will set a date for national elections to elect 130 special assembly members, which will convene for 180 days to draft the new constitution.

Constitutional reforms proposed by President Rafael Correa [official website, in Spanish; BBC profile] to limit the power of an allegedly corrupt Congress [official website, in Spanish] would restrain powerful political parties [JURIST report], increase accountability and set up regional, rather than national, elections. Critics fear that Correa will use the constitutional assembly to expand the power of the presidency. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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