Ecuador opposition mobilizes against inheritance tax plan

Opponents of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa protest in Quito on June 10, 2015 against a bill which would increase inheritance taxes (AFP Photo/Juan Cevallos)

Quito (AFP) - Rival protesters in Ecuador took to the street for the third night running to demonstrate over President Rafael Correa and a "redistribution of wealth" plan that would increase inheritance taxes.

Supporters and opponents of the new plan gathered again in the major cities of Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca.

"Out Correa," chanted one group near the headquarters of the ruling party, while another gathering yelled "Correa is not going."

Police attempted to prevent opposing groups from clashing, but there were reports of scuffles against government supporters in the capital.

"They are reaching into the pockets of everyone, not just the millionaires or rich. It is endangering the heritage of Ecuadorans," said a 65-year-old man who requested anonymity while demonstrating.

On Friday, Correa proposed to Congress an inheritance tax on assets over $34,500 as opposed to the current $68,800 cutoff.

The president, who claims to have helped end poverty for 1.3 million people, said the move was part of a struggle to "redistribute wealth" and "democratize property," denying the move would affect the poor or middle class.

The measure is to be voted on in July.

Many members of the business sector oppose the plan because they say it punishes economic success.