Ecuadorans on Sunday voted to bar unlimited re-election for their presidents in a blow to ex-leader Rafael Correa who had been eyeing a comeback in 2021.
Initial results from a referendum called by Correa’s successor-turned-foe, current President Lenin Moreno, showed 64 per cent of ballots in favour of scrapping a provision allowing open-ended re-elections, according to electoral authorities.
Correa is locked in a battle with President Lenin Moreno for control of their deeply divided leftist ruling Country Alliance party.
The referendum, in which Moreno backs the "yes" vote, featured seven questions including reintroducing term limits to prevent presidents from running indefinitely.
If the current head of state gets his way, Correa will not be able to join the 2021 election race.
The National Electoral Council said the ballot "took place normally" with no significant incidents to report. It was expected to give preliminary results around 8:00 pm.
According to surveys, the "yes" camp - supported by traditional opposition parties - was predicted to win a comfortable majority with between 72 and 84 per cent of the vote.