July 2, 2009 / 12:56 AM / 10 years ago

Ecuador Correa falls short of assembly majority

QUITO, July 1 (Reuters) - Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa failed to clutch an outright majority in the new legislature, electoral officials said on Wednesday, but the leftist will likely be able to push reforms with alliances.

Correa’s “Alianza Pais” party won 59 of the 124 assembly seats, the electoral council said, just short of the 63 votes needed to pass legislation.

The electoral council released the results nearly two months after the April 26 general election, in which Correa was easily re-elected to a four-year term on pledges to continue helping the country’s poor majority.

Correa, a former economy minister and ally of firebrand Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has vowed a hard stance on foreign investors to get more benefits to the OPEC nation.

Correa has said his party will be able to secure around 70 votes in the assembly via alliances with smaller, more moderate parties. The legislature is key to keep political stability in a country where congressional and street turmoil has toppled three presidents between 1997 and 2005.

Opposition leader Lucio Gutierrez, a former president who was toppled amid massive street demonstrations in 2005, won 19 seats, becoming the second bloc in the assembly. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Alonso Soto; editing by Doina Chiacu)

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