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.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ecuador police ring Congress to halt lawmakers

QUITO, March 20 (Reuters) - Hundreds of police ringed Ecuador's Congress on Tuesday to prevent fired lawmakers from entering the building as President Rafael Correa wrestled with legislators resisting his plans for broad political overhaul.
Fifty-seven lawmakers have rejected an election court decision to fire them for opposing Correa's plan for an April 15 referendum that could usher in constitutional reforms to curb the influence of Congress.
The 57 represent more than half of the 100-member Congress.
Some of the dismissed lawmakers threatened to break through a cordon of riot police armed with batons while other sacked legislators said they may try to hold a parallel session elsewhere in the capital.
But Ramsses Torres, a left-wing lawmaker sympathetic with Correa, said government supporters would hold a session on Tuesday with substitutes for the fired lawmakers. A group of substitute lawmakers entered Congress early on Tuesday.
Last week a group of sacked lawmakers scuffled with police in an attempt to enter the legislative building in a signal of more tensions in the politically unstable Andean nation, where three presidents have been toppled in the last decade.
Congress needs at least 51 lawmakers present to hold a session. The court issued its decision March 7.
Correa, a popular former finance minister elected in November, has backed the court ruling on sacking the congressmembers. He says the constitution must be rewritten to limit the influence of lawmakers whom many Ecuadoreans blame for instability and corruption.

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