Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk) appears to have won 7 May referendum on political reforms, although the national electoral council still needs to confirm the final results and the opposition has several days to challenge those results.
The margin of the president’s victory is thinner than expected as the final results show the Yes camp won between 44.96% and 50.46% of the vote on the nine proposals, while the No vote gathered between 39.25% and 42.56%.
President Correa’s plan holds nine proposals, including greater control over media content and ownership and more control of the judiciary.
About the judicial reform the Yes camp cast 310,000 votes, whereas the No camp accounts 250,000 ballots.
The proposals about the media will have to be debated at the country’s parliament next week.
A ban on bullfighting is one of the most controversial proposals, and final results show that the practice of killing bulls is to be outlawed in over half of the country’s 204 electoral districts.
But the results could be called into question by opposition politicians. They could file complaints to the electoral authorities, arguing that Mr Correa’s reforms represent a power grab.
As Mr Correa is widely expected to run for a third time in the presidential elections of 2013, this referendum was mainly seen as a popularity test for him.