August 22, 2008 / 10:55 PM / 11 years ago

CORRECTED - Ecuador's Correa closer to referendum win - poll

(Corrects survey point rise in second graph to 3 points)

QUITO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has inched closer to winning a Sept. 28 referendum to approve a new constitution that would extend state control over the economy, according to a poll released on Friday.

The Cedatos-Gallup survey showed support for the new constitution up three points from the last survey to 44 percent. Voters who said they would oppose the amended constitution dropped one point to 34 percent.

The leftist Correa, a former economy minister, needs more than 50 percent of the votes in the referendum to secure approval of the constitution.

He is popular for his pledges to fight powerful elites he blames for the instability that has toppled his last three predecessors in a little over a decade.

The new constitution would give Correa more control over the OPEC-member country’s economy and key political institutions such as Congress and top courts.

His critics worry those powers will undermine Ecuador’s democracy.

Other polls released this week show a similar upward trend despite his fierce clash with church leaders who say the new constitution paves the way for abortion and same-sex marriage.

Cedatos interviewed 2,124 people across the country. The poll had a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points. (Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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