September 3, 2008 / 12:39 AM / 11 years ago

Ecuador's Correa has majority before key vote: poll

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa leaves a meeting in Paris May 14, 2008. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuadorian leftist President Rafael Correa has the majority he needs to win a key September 28 referendum to pass a new constitution that would extend his authority over the Andean nation, a poll showed on Tuesday.

Independent pollster Santiago Perez, who is often hired by the government to measure approval ratings, said his poll showed that backing for the new constitution rose 3 percentage points to 56 percent. Opposition stood at 23 percent.

Correa, a former economy minister, needs more than 50 percent of votes to pass the new constitution.

The proposed constitution, drafted by government allies, would allow Correa to run for re-election immediately after his first four-year term and bolster his sway over the oil-producing country’s economy.

A feeble opposition says the former college professor is amassing dictatorial powers and turning the country into a Cuban-style socialist state.

The Santiago Perez survey interviewed 5,080 people across the country and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Eric Walsh

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