Controversial ballot issues now losing in Ecuador

AP News
Posted: May 10, 2011 12:53 PM
Controversial ballot issues now losing in Ecuador

Two controversial questions from a weekend referendum considered a key gauge of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa's popularity may now be headed for defeat.

One question would dissolve the current judicial oversight body and overhaul it. The other would create a government panel to police the news media.

With 48 percent of the vote counted, both questions were losing by slim margins. The vote count has been excruciatingly slow.

Correa's opponents say both represent a blatant attempt to consolidate power by the leftist president. Correa has said the referendum would "diffuse the power" in Ecuador.

Still apparently headed for victory from Saturday's 10-question ballot are bans on bullfighting and on gambling.