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Noboa Initiates Popular Consultation and Referendum: Electoral Process Set to Shape Nation’s Future

Published on February 13, 2024

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President Daniel Noboa has called for a popular consultation and referendum in Ecuador. Noboa notified and directed the National Electoral Council to proceed with the planned process for Ecuadorians to participate in the polls.

President Daniel Noboa signed Executive Decrees No. 162 and 163 on February 9, 2024, calling for the popular consultation and referendum. With these documents containing the definitive texts of the questions on the ballots, the president also instructed the National Electoral Council (CNE) to continue with the planned process for Ecuadorians to participate in the polls.

The six questions of the consultation are as follows:

  1. Do you agree that the Armed Forces should carry out permanent control of weapons, ammunition, explosives, and accessories on the routes, roads, highways, and corridors authorized for entry to social rehabilitation centers?
  2. Do you agree with increasing the penalties for the crimes of: (i) terrorism and its financing, (ii) illicit production and trafficking of scheduled substances subject to control, (iii) organized crime, (iv) murder, (v) contract killing, (vi) human trafficking, (vii) kidnapping for ransom, (viii) arms trafficking, (ix) money laundering, and (x) illicit activity of mining resources, reforming the Comprehensive Criminal Organic Code in accordance with the Annex to the question?
  3. Do you agree that people deprived of liberty should serve their entire sentence within the social rehabilitation center for the crimes detailed in the Annex to the question, reforming the Comprehensive Organic Penal Code as stated in the aforementioned Annex?
  4. Do you agree with criminalizing the crime of possession or carrying of weapons, ammunition, or components that are for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces or the National Police, without affecting firearms permitted for civilian use, reforming the Comprehensive Organic Penal Code according to the Annex to the question?
  5. Do you agree that weapons, their parts or pieces, explosives, ammunition, or accessories that were instruments or material objects of a crime can be destined for the immediate use of the National Police or the Armed Forces, reforming the Organic Comprehensive Criminal Code according to the Annex to the question?
  6. Do you agree that the State should proceed to be the holder (owner) of assets of illicit or unjustified origin, simplifying the procedure of the Organic Law of Asset Forfeiture, according to the Annex to the question?

The president asked the CNE to unify the texts of questions 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 and their annexes “so that they are presented consecutively and are not divided into different ballots.”

The four questions of the referendum are:

  1. Do you agree with allowing the extradition of Ecuadorians, with the conditions, requirements, restrictions, and impediments established in the Constitution, international instruments, and in the Law, amending the Constitution and reforming the laws, in accordance with Annex 1?
  2. Do you agree with the establishment of specialized judiciaries in constitutional matters, both in the first and second instance, for the knowledge of the jurisdictional guarantees that correspond to them, amending the Constitution and reforming the Organic Law of Jurisdictional Guarantees and Constitutional Control, according to Annex 2?
  3. Do you agree that the Ecuadorian State should recognize international arbitration as a method to resolve investment, contractual, or commercial disputes?
  4. Do you agree with amending the Constitution of the Republic and reforming the Labor Code for the fixed-term and hourly employment contract, when it is concluded for the first time between the same employer and worker, without affecting the acquired rights of workers, in accordance with Annex 4?

The procedure

On February 8th, José Cabrera, a member of the CNE, explained that after the signing of the executive decrees, the CNE has, at most, 15 days to call the popular consultation and the referendum and, as of the call, a maximum of 60 days to execute.

Cabrera estimated that the votes could be held at the end of April, but the final decision will depend on the full body of the organization.

Additionally, Cabrera announced that his work team has calculated the cost of the process to be approximately between $50 and $55 million.

Furthermore, there will be a new registry. The CNE approved a new electoral registry, which totals 13.65 million. “This was done as of January 9th, taking into account young people who will turn 16 until April and changes of address have been taken into account until January 20th,” Cabrera explained.


  1. Many that will vote have low education the questions seem complicated for a regular person to answer yes or No

    • The last time a presidential referendum was put before the citizenry, the people voted ”NO” to each of the 10 proposals.

      I anticipate a similar result will occur this time as well.

  2. In each case what are the Articles of the Constitution proposed to be amended?

  3. I don’t understand referendum #4??


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