QUITO – Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has given its approval for a bill that would change the constitution to allow President Rafael Correa to run for re-election indefinitely.
The high court ruled Friday that Ecuador’s unicameral National Assembly may decide the matter without the need for a referendum, as the opposition is demanding.
Correa’s Alianza Pais party, which holds 100 of the 137 seats in the legislature, submitted the constitutional overhaul package to the court on June 26.
Besides ending term limits for elected officials, other measures contained in the package include lowering the eligibility age for president to 30 from 35 and changing the mission of the military (so it may assist with domestic security), legislative sources said then.
The 51-year-old Correa was first elected eight years ago and has won two more presidential contests since a new constitution was approved in 2008. The National Assembly cleared the way for him to run last year when it voted that same year to relax term limits, but he is not eligible to run in 2017 under current law.
The leftist leader has said he will only seek an additional four-year term in 2017 if he deems his “citizens’ revolution” under threat.