The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ecuador lawmakers vow to reclaim seats in Congress

QUITO, March 19 (Reuters AlertNet) - Ecuador's fired opposition lawmakers on Monday vowed to break a police cordon and reclaim their parliamentary seats, keeping up the pressure on President Rafael Correa in the volatile Andean state.

Fifty-seven lawmakers have been fired for trying to block a referendum the populist president is proposing. The vote would set up a body to reduce the influence of congressmen in the judiciary and state companies.

The lawmakers refuse to accept their dismissal and last week barged through a police cordon to get into Congress. They promised to do the same on Tuesday.

"Either we all enter Congress or no one will," said Washington Vallejo, one of the 57 fired lawmakers. "We will defend Congress."

Correa, a leftist ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, since taking office in January has vowed to break the power of political elites, largely seen as corrupt, in the world's top banana exporting nation.

The fight with the lawmakers is the first major challenge for a president who has vowed to restructure the national debt and renegotiate oil deals. Congress has been instrumental in ousting three presidents in a decade.

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