Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa is praising loyalists who dominate the national assembly for backing his proposal to amend the constitution so he can't seek re-election in 2017.

But there's a catch: The legislation cleared Wednesday night by governing bloc legislators would permit indefinite re-election of a later president. So Correa could run again in 2021 and thereafter without restriction.

A vote on the amendment has not been set in congress, where Correa's alliance holds 100 of the 137 seats.

Opposition lawmaker Mae Montano says Correa's intentions are clear — and unconstitutional. She says only a referendum can enable indefinite re-election.

Correa has been president since 2007. Many believe the leftist's decision to sit out the 2017 election is based on the OPEC nation's economy being battered by depressed crude prices.