Pre-referendum campaigns get underway in Ecuador

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-04 07:36:45|Editor: pengying
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QUITO, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Campaigns got underway in Ecuador on Wednesday in the lead up to a Feb. 4 referendum vote on a Constitutional amendment to end unlimited reelection to presidential office and other initiatives.

According to the National Electoral Council (CNE), as many as 36 political organizations and social groups registered to campaign in favor of the amendment, which was proposed by President Lenin Moreno, and only four organizations to campaign against it.

"It is time to expand our rights and freedoms," Moreno, who took office in May, has said of the referendum.

The outcome will serve to gauge the president's popularity since he distanced himself from his own ruling PAIS Alliance by pursuing contrary policies.

That rift is most evident between Moreno and his predecessor and fellow party member Rafael Correa.

Correa, who went to live abroad following his two terms in office, said he will be back in Ecuador on Thursday to campaign for the "No" vote.

Those close to Correa within the PAIS Alliance feel the amendment aims to sideline Correa from running again in 2021.

Moreno has defended it as a means "to guarantee the principle of alternance" between different political currents.