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.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Police barricade Congress, Ecuador leader claims triumph

jurnalo, 8 March 2007
With police barricading entrance to the legislature, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on Thursday declared the triumph of "citizen government" over "political mafias" after the sacking of 57 legislators.

In a speech delivered from the balcony of the presidential palace in Quito, Correa said the "political mafias" made a mistake in the face of what he defined as the decision by citizens to aim for the transformation of Ecuador.

"Impostors are over. They have been defeated whatever they do," the president stressed before a group of supporters.

Ecuador's highest electoral court on Wednesday fired 57 opposition members of the 100-seat unicameral legislature for standing in the way of a referendum on rewriting the country's constitution - a move likely to provoke a constitutional crisis only three months into leftist Correa's tenure.

The move comes after the country's opposition-controlled Congress sought to fire the electoral tribunal's president for announcing the referendum would be held on April 15. Congress insisted it had to first approve the referendum.

Correa added that the referendum and the Constituent Assembly that he expects to result from it "are irreversible. " His government has indicated it supports the tribunal's move and would enforce the dismissals.

Some 300 police agents cordoned off Ecuador's unicameral Congress to bar entry to vehicles and people. Metal fences were erected around the building in the early hours, and the police presence grew by the hour.

A group of fired legislators were attacked Thursday by pro- government demonstrators as they met in a Quito hotel. A score of protestors damaged windows to enter the building, then physcially attacked the sacked lawmakers who suffered slight injuries.

The dispute surrounds a central campaign pledge of President Correa to drastically change the country's institutional make-up.

Correa fielded no legislative candidates in the November elections in the hope of making a clean sweep away from the highly unpopular Congress, which many regard as ineffective. But in so doing, he left opposition parties in the majority in parliament.

Ecuador's opposition refused to back Correa's call for a special assembly to rewrite the constitution, prompting Correa to request a referendum which was granted by the country's electoral authority without seeking the parliament's approval.

A recent opinion poll pointed out that only 17 per cent of Ecuadorians are satisfied with their Congress.

No comments:

Post a Comment