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, April 25, 2007

Ecuador's Correa Asks Court to Scrap Order to Arrest Lawmakers

By Matthew Walter

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa asked a penal court to scrap a request for an arrest warrant for a group of suspended lawmakers, saying there needs to be peace amid escalating conflicts between congress and the courts.

The arrest warrant accuses the lawmakers of sedition, according to the government's Web site. The congressmen were suspended last month by the country's top elections court for allegedly interfering with Correa's plan to rewrite the constitution to limit the influence of political parties on institutions, including the courts.

``We're looking at a sensitive situation, politically speaking,'' Correa said today in a press conference in Quito. ``These events have not been backed by the government.''

Correa was elected in November without the backing of any political party. He's popular with the public for pledging to take on political parties that many Ecuadoreans blame for instability that's led to eight presidents in 10 years.

Correa said he's preparing a proposal for a new constitution that does away with ``neo-liberal'' economic policies and creates more ``participatory democracy.'' The president's plan to call an assembly to rewrite the constitution won the support of 82 percent of voters this month in a national referendum.

Tension between the courts and congressmen mounted yesterday, when Ecuador's constitutional court decided to reinstate the suspended lawmakers, prompting the congressmen still in office to vote to fire that court's judges. Today, the penal court with the arrest warrant ordered the suspended lawmakers detained.

Correa also said today the government will wait eight months to decide what to do with the Ishpingo Tamococha Tiputini oil field. Correa is seeking international compensation for not drilling in the area, which is located in the Amazon.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Walter in Santiago at

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