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Ecuadorean president denies seeking dictatorship through constituent assembly

Ecuadorean president denies seeking dictatorship through constituent assembly

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said he is not looking for absolute power by proposing a constitutional assembly, a move that has plunged the government into a confrontation with Congress.
"No one here wants to be a dictator, no one wants to imitate the experience of other countries," Correa said in a radio speech.
Earlier this month, Correa issued a decree calling for a March 18 vote on the assembly. He says a new constitution is necessary to limit the power of Ecuador's traditional parties, which he blames for the country's problems. Ecuador has had seven presidents in the last decade.
The president's push for a new charter got more complicated on Tuesday when the electoral court's decision to send his request to Congress, which the president has called "a sewer" of corruption.
Correa said Saturday that firm leadership should not be confused with totalitarianism or authoritarianism.
The U.S.-trained leftist economist, who took office Jan. 15, said that his government aims to control at least 70 percent of the assembly.
"With this control (of the assembly) what we are going to make is a new constitution that recovers democracy," he said.