[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.