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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 10:48 GMT
Huge rally against Ecuador reform
Protest march in Guayaquil against Ecuador's President Correa and his government
Mr Nebot said the new constitution would be "a slavery document"
Tens of thousands of people have staged a protest march in Ecuador's largest city against President Rafael Correa's planned constitutional reforms.

The demonstration in Guayaquil, about 420km (261 miles) from the capital, was led by the city's Mayor, Jaime Nebot.

Critics say the reforms will focus more power in the president's hands and this will frighten off foreign investors.

Mr Correa argues that his reforms will make Ecuador a more just society and tackle endemic political instability.

Widespread support

Carried on the shoulders of his supporters, Mr Nebot delivered a speech from a stage in Guayaquil's main street.

He rejected Mr Correa's plans for greater state control over the economy, saying the new constitution would be "a slavery document".

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa in Guayaquil (19 January)
Mr Correa celebrated his first year in office with supporters in Guayaquil
"I'm willing to give you the rest of my life, my life for Guayaquil, for an Ecuador without misery, for an Ecuador which employs, for a rebel and autonomous Guayaquil within the unity of an Ecuador that works," he said.

But Mr Correa, 44, who made reforming the constitution a key part of his election campaign, enjoys widespread popular support.

Last year, nearly 80% of voters backed his call for an assembly that would bypass Congress and rewrite the constitution.

A draft document is expected to be put to a national referendum this July for approval.

His supporters held a demonstration on a similar scale in Guayaquil last week to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office.

SEE ALSO
Ecuador forum dissolves Congress
30 Nov 07 |  Americas
Ecuador issues foreign oil decree
05 Oct 07 |  Americas
Ecuador assembly plans attacked
04 Oct 07 |  Americas
Ecuador president claims poll win
01 Oct 07 |  Americas
Ecuador 'expels World Bank envoy'
26 Apr 07 |  Americas
Profile: Ecuador's Rafael Correa
27 Nov 06 |  Americas
Country profile: Ecuador
22 Aug 07 |  Country profiles

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