After reaching the presidency in Sunday’s runoff after winning 51.83% of the votes against the leftist Luisa González – who got 48.17% – Noboa focused his efforts on the plebiscite where he highlighted at least two questions in the last presidential debate.
The first is “Do you approve of a jury system for organized crime and corruption-type criminals?” and the second is “Do you agree to accelerate the process of action of the Armed Forces in the event of a terrorist threat on Ecuadorian territory?”
To make a consultation offer “in 100 days is impossible,” constitutional expert André Benavides told The Associated Press on Friday, because the qualification of the questions of the Constitutional Court will be “between two and three months.”
Benavides explained that the constitutional body must determine if the questions or texts are “partial changes or reforms that change the basic structure of the Constitution.” In the first case, the Court approved and sent it to the National Electoral Council for convocation and organization, but in the second it goes to the National Assembly where it must be approved in two debates and later approved in a popular consultation, said the judge.
According to the constitutionalist, it would be better for Noboa to “create spaces for dialogue in the Assembly” to implement his proposals and, if he encounters obstacles, turn to popular consultation as a last resort.
The current member of the National Electoral Council, José Cabrera, explained in a telephone conversation with AP that once the questions are approved and published in the official register, the Council has 15 days to make the call and 60 days of implementation of the consultation.
Regarding the estimated cost of the process, Cabrera answered that it would be around 55 to 60 million dollars, although he clarified that this is an estimated number.
In this regard, Noboa stated in the presidential debate that “more expensive than a consultation are ten thousand deaths, it is the desolation of the Ecuadorian family and the lack of productivity and order and security in Ecuador.”
The AP contacted Valentina Centeno by phone on Friday, a member of the assembly elected by the movement that sponsors Noboa, the National Democratic Alliance (ADN), who declined to give statements. However, in an interview with the television channel Teleamazonas, he stated that they are working to prepare questions for the consultation, which is expected to be between 12 and 15.
Centeno approved the holding of the consultation in the first 100 days of the government.
Among the issues to be consulted are the reforms of the judicial system, the promotion of private investment, and the role of the Armed Forces, he stated.
The winning duo of the elections, Noboa and Verónica Abad will receive their presidential credentials on November 15, the National Electoral Council reported the other day. Although a day has not been established for its possession, the agency’s authorities plan a preliminary date between December 11 and 15.