Ecuador Referendum Underway as Celebration of Democracy

Quito, May 7 (Prensa Latina) With a ceremony in the National Electoral Council at 06:37 local time, a national referendum began in which 11.2 million Ecuadorians will cast their votes on 10 questions regarding judicial reform.

In declaring the process open, National Electoral Council (CNE) president Omar Simon urged all citizens to exercise that right with joy, as a mass celebration of democracy.

The ceremony was attended by several representatives of the state, the top commanders of the armed forces and national police, the diplomatic corps accredited in the country and political actors in this campaign.

In his speech at the end of the brief ceremony, President Rafael Correa said that nobody would stop this hurricane of sovereignty and dignity, and warned those conspiring in the shadows that the people will hit the streets as they did today.

He talked about the peopleâ�Ös determination to defend the most democratic process in the country since the times of Eloy Alfaro, and praised the great efforts and efficient work of the CNE members, officials and citizens who will participate today at polling stations.

About 40,000 police and 37,000 army troops will guarantee the security and transparency of the referendum, in which around 207,000 randomly selected citizens are directly involved as polling committee members.

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