Ecuador voters reject referendum measures on constitutional reform News
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Ecuador voters reject referendum measures on constitutional reform

Ecuadorians Sunday voted in local elections and a referendum containing a number of measures aimed at reforming Ecuador’s constitution. As of Monday night, all eight referendum measures have been defeated. President Guillermo Lasso proposed the referendum in September 2022.

The referendum included eight measures to which the voters could cast either a “yes” or “no” vote. The measures included a proposal that would allow other countries to extradite Ecuadorians accused of organized crime. Other measures included those related to reducing the number of lawmakers in the National Assembly and requiring political parties to have a minimum number of members. A number of measures focused on the powers and processes of the Council of Civic Participation and Social Control. The final two measures asked voters to approve the development of a water protection system and compensation for communities who aid nature conservation. A majority of voters answered all eight referendum measures with a “no” vote.

During a national televised address, Lasso accepted the referendum defeat. Lasso said:

I accept that the majority doesn’t agree that these [crime] issues would be resolved with the tools put up for consideration in the referendum. But I believe that we Ecuadoreans should have a broad and serious debate, without dogmas or ideologies, about how to face the threat that drug trafficking and its links to sectors of politics represent today.

Ecuador’s constitution provides that voting is mandatory for persons aged 18 to 65. Therefore there is generally a high voter turnout, with the President of the National Electoral Council Diana Atamaint reporting that 80.74 percent of voters participated in the election.