Ecuador votes to limit presidential terms | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 05.02.2018
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Ecuador votes to limit presidential terms

Ecuadorians have voted in favor of reintroducing term limits to prevent presidents from running indefinitely. The referendum vote has dealt a blow to former President Rafael Correa, who did away with term limits in 2015.

Voters in Ecuador overwhelmingly voted to limit the number of terms that presidents can serve in a nationwide referendum on Sunday.

Initial results showed 64 percent voted "yes" to changing the constitution to prevent presidents from running indefinitely — capping them at two terms in office.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno (picture-alliance/AP Photo/D. Ochoa)

Current President Moreno said reinstating term limits for presidents would help curb corruption in the country

The result deals a blow to former President Rafael Correa and provides a big boost to his former protege-turned-foe, current President Lenin Moreno.

Correa, who had been eyeing a comeback to power in 2021, approved a law in 2015 that eliminated presidential term limits from the constitution.

"The days of confrontation are behind us," Moreno said in televised remarks at the presidential palace. "It's time to embrace each other."

The rift between Moreno and Correa has led to a deep split in their ruling leftist Alianza PAIS party, with several lawmakers still loyal to the former president.

Read moreEcuador: The end of the 'Citizens' Revolution'?

Former President of Ecuador Rafael Correa (imago/Agencia EFE)

The referendum results have quashed former President Correa's plans of running for office again in 2021

Moreno, a wheelchair-bound former vice president elected last year, said a "yes" vote in the referendum would help curb corruption in the oil-rich Andean nation.

He said the result would be "transcendental for the future of the country, so that our children are protected, so that corrupt people do not return to mock us... for the care of the environment, for economic reactivation."

The seven-question referendum also included proposals to limit mining activity in protected areas as well as restructuring a body created by Correa to select authority figures such as judges.

rs/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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