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  Ecuador Charts the Way
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ContributorCraverguy 
Last EditedCraverguy  Oct 09, 2008 10:30am
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News DateThursday, October 9, 2008 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionEcuador's new constitution was approved with 64% voting "yes" on Sept. 28. "No" won 28% of the votes, 7% were invalid, and 0.7% left blank, according to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

The results of the referendum reflect the high expectations for change that the majority of Ecuadorians are feeling, and which they have ratified with their votes in the last four elections. This desire for a profound transformation also extends to the immigrants that have left for the United States and Europe, who have been hit by the economic crisis. People voted for a more participative democracy and for the ability to intercede actively in political life.

The constitution combines a series of progressive traits that overcome some of Ecuador's current inequalities, discrimination, and injustices, such as the following: the balanced living concept (sumak kawsay), which implies living in harmony with oneself, society, and nature; nature's right to assure "the maintenance and regeneration of its vital cycles, structure, functions, and evolutionary processes"; national diversity and collective rights; the right to water and the prohibition of its privatization; food sovereignty and the permanent right to secure food sources; the right to communication, and access to public, private, and community media.

The constitution also has articles that are significant in terms of sovereignty and the prohibition of foreign military bases, as Article 5 states: "Ecuador is a peaceful territory. We will not permit the establishment of foreign military bases nor foreign facilities with military aims. It is prohibited to cede national military bases to foreign armed or security forces." Ecuador defines itself as a country that promotes peace, universal disarmament, condemns the use of weapons of mass destruction, and the imposition of bases or facilities with military purposes of some states in the territory of other nations (Article 416, 4). This is a victory not only for Ecuadorian organiza
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