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The Collective
Friday, January 25, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Huge rally against Ecuador reform

Tens of thousands of people have staged a protest march in Ecuador’s largest city against President Rafael Correa’s planned constitutional reforms.

The demonstration in Guayaquil, about 420km (261 miles) from the capital, was led by the city’s Mayor, Jaime Nebot.

Critics say the reforms will focus more power in the president’s hands and this will frighten off foreign investors.

I will confess that the way Correa has dealt with the situation, especially vis-a-vis Congress (see here and here, for example), makes me generally suspicious of the whole constitutional reform project in Ecuador at the moment. Mostly it appears to be driven more by populistic appeals rather than sound reform logic, but I will state that I have not seen the proposed changes.

Regardless, the protest clearly represents a minority view and will therefore have little effect, methinks:

Last year, nearly 80% of voters backed his call for an assembly that would bypass Congress and rewrite the constitution.

[...]

His supporters held a demonstration on a similar scale in Guayaquil last week to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office.

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