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 14, 2007

Sacked Legislators Get Past Police Cordon To Ecuador Congress

Playfuls, March 13, 2007.
Seventeen sacked legislators on Tuesday managed to get past the police cordon around the Ecuadorian Congress in Quito and enter the plenary hall.

According to media reports, the entry of former legislators was preceded by tough verbal exchanges and also some wrangling with police officers. One legislator fell and had to be treated in the hospital for a back problem, while another's eyes were affected by tear gas, reports said.

Scores of protestors gathered before Congress after the incident.

The police have been guarding the building since the country's highest electoral tribunal revoked the mandates of 57 of Ecuador's 100 legislators last week for standing in the way of a referendum on rewriting the country's constitution.

The dispute surrounds a central campaign pledge of President Rafael Correa - inaugurated in January - 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 the legislature.

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.

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.

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

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