World

Thousands march in Ecuador to protest plan to allow indefinite re-election for president

  • Demonstrators burn an effigy of President Rafael Correa to protest his government in downtown Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, March 19, 2015. Demonstrators are protesting government proposed laws, including a labor law, an initiative on land ownership and a series of constitutional reforms that would allow indefinite reelection for all elected officials. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    Demonstrators burn an effigy of President Rafael Correa to protest his government in downtown Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, March 19, 2015. Demonstrators are protesting government proposed laws, including a labor law, an initiative on land ownership and a series of constitutional reforms that would allow indefinite reelection for all elected officials. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police block protesters from reaching Independence Plaza, where they wanted to protest the government of President Rafael Correa outside the presidential palace, in downtown Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, March 19, 2015. Demonstrators are protesting government proposed laws, including a labor law, an initiative on land ownership and a series of constitutional reforms that would allow indefinite reelection for all elected officials. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    Police block protesters from reaching Independence Plaza, where they wanted to protest the government of President Rafael Correa outside the presidential palace, in downtown Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, March 19, 2015. Demonstrators are protesting government proposed laws, including a labor law, an initiative on land ownership and a series of constitutional reforms that would allow indefinite reelection for all elected officials. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)  (The Associated Press)

  • A protester holds up a peace sign in front of a line of police blocking a street that leads to Independence Plaza, where demonstrators wanted to protest the government of President Rafael Correa outside the presidential palace, in downtown Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, March 19, 2015. Demonstrators are protesting government proposed laws, including a labor law, an initiative on land ownership and a series of constitutional reforms that would allow indefinite reelection for all elected officials. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    A protester holds up a peace sign in front of a line of police blocking a street that leads to Independence Plaza, where demonstrators wanted to protest the government of President Rafael Correa outside the presidential palace, in downtown Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, March 19, 2015. Demonstrators are protesting government proposed laws, including a labor law, an initiative on land ownership and a series of constitutional reforms that would allow indefinite reelection for all elected officials. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands ignored heavy rain to march in Ecuador's capital Thursday to protest constitutional changes that would allow indefinite re-election of the president and other officials as well as legislation to alter labor and land ownership rules.

The march organized by indigenous communities, unions and student groups was largely peacefully, though small bands of activists clashed with police after the demonstration.

President Rafael Correa, an economist who identifies himself as a follower of 21st century socialism, is pushing a package of constitutional changes that would end term limits for all elected officials. Passage is considered likely because his Alianza Pais party holds 100 of the National Assembly's 137 seats.

Correa, who was first elected in 2006 and would have to leave office in 2017 without the change, has said he would seek another term only if he felt his "revolution" was threatened. He is popular among Ecuadoreans for his government's generous social spending but is widely criticized for intolerance of dissent.