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News > Latin America

Political Campaigns for Ecuador's Referendum Come to an End

  • President Lenin Moreno (L) and former President Rafael Correa (R) during the campaign trail.

    President Lenin Moreno (L) and former President Rafael Correa (R) during the campaign trail. | Photo: Twitter / @Lenin - Twitter / @reychris6

Published 1 February 2018

Ecuadoreans will cast their vote on Feb. 4.

After 30 days of campaigning for and against the referendum (locally known as the popular consultation) proposed by Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno, electioneering is winding down as Ecuadoreans are preparing to cast their votes on Sunday.  

Ecuador's Referendum: Conciliation or 'Coup'?

Moreno is expected to hold his last public event in support of the referendum at 5:00 p.m. local time in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s main port city. The last two days of the “yes” campaign have been characterized by concerts and celebrations in the country’s most populated cities.

Wide political support has translated into wide territorial coverage. The referendum enjoys the support of 36 groups approved by the National Electoral Council, CNE, to campaign for a “yes” vote. Among the political groups are Popular Unity, a long-time opponent of the ruling Alianza Pais party, and right-wing parties like the Social Christian Party and CREO.

Alianza Pais registered to support the referendum after it broke into two groups: those who support Moreno and the referendum and the “Citizens' Revolution” offshoot led by former President Rafael Correa. The CNE didn’t allow the Citizens' Revolution group to register in the campaign. Instead, four groups are formally part of the “no” campaign. Among them are the National Forum for Women and two workers' unions.   

In stark contrast, the “no” campaign has faced violent attacks throughout the country, reaching its worst moment Wednesday when Correa was attacked in Quininde after a group of people surrounded the radio station where he was being interviewed. They threatened him, damaged the building and vandalized Correa’s car.

The acts of violence have been widely condemned, even by the government. Bolivian President Evo Morales showed his solidarity via Twitter: “Brother @MashiRafael my solidarity and much strength, the right-wing only uses violence and abuses the world’s people’s democracy. My respect and admiration for leading the liberation of the people from Ecuador through the Citizens' Revolution.”  

The Organization of American States also condemned “the acts of violence” and made a “call for calm” Wednesday. The Citizens' Revolution group announced it will demand a thorough investigation of the acts of violence. Correa and some of his supporters claimed the attack was orchestrated by Quininde’s mayor, Angel Torres, who belongs to Alianza Pais.

The “no” campaign has focused on three of the seven questions: prohibiting indefinite reelection, restructuring the Council for Citizens’ Participation in charge of designating most judicial and social control authorities and eliminating a capital gains tax on land and property legislation.

So far, a closing event for the “no” campaign has not been announced.

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