The president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, has presented seven key issues as part of a plebiscite he announced mid-September in his "The Government Informs" program.
Moreno said highlighting the issues for a popular consultation will help his government work more efficiently and will strengthen the country's democracy. One of the key issues the referendum aims to tackle is to curb indefinite presidential reelection by way of making changes to the constitution.
Five of the seven questions involve direct reforms to the constitution passed in 2008, Reuters reported.
“These changes will give us powerful tools to tackle corruption, strengthen democracy, and revive employment and the economy,” Moreno said in a statement.
"The consultation is in favor of the country, in favor of you and our children, and these changes will give us powerful tools to deal with corruption, to strengthen democracy, to revive employment and the economy, take care of our children," Moreno said.
"To better protect the nature of which we are part, and also invigorate our greatest wealth, which is diversity," he added.
In his statement, the South American president also stated, "once the Constitutional Court qualifies the questions, the National Electoral Council (CNE) must call the process and each of you can choose freely."
Critics worry that the suddenly-announced plebiscite might play in the hands of the right-wingers who might manipulate the consultation.
First Issue: Suppressing political rights to corruption
"We will consult on the lifelong abolition of political rights for public servants found guilty of corruption offenses," he said.
Second Issue: Electing new members of the Citizen Participation Council
"We consulted on the immediate cessation of the current (seven) members of the Council of Citizen Participation and we propose that new members be elected through universal voting," said Moreno.
Third Issue: Put an end to the amendment permitting indefinite re-election
"The indefinite reelection weakens the democracy and many times it diminishes efficiency to the public administration", assured the president and added that "the alternative extends the rights of participation".
Fourth Issue: Eliminate the Law of Goodwill
"We will consult on the elimination of the so-called Goodwill Act, which is in force," Moreno said, adding that "the Goodwill Act has negative effects on employment and the economy."
Fifth Issue: Expand Yasuní Intangible Zone
"I have decided to include a question about the extension of 50,000 hectares of the Yasuní Intangible Zone and the reduction of one-third of the oil exploitation area in ITT," President Moreno said.
Sixth Issue: Restrict metal mining
"I have included a question on the restriction of metal mining at all stages in protected areas, intangible areas and urban centers," he said.
Seventh Issue: Protection of children
"I am proposing that sexual crimes against children and adolescents should never be prescribed"
The Constitutional Court needs to approve the above-mentioned issues before they can go to a popular vote.