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, November 30, 2007

Ecuador forum debates key reforms

Members of Ecuador's assembly meet in Montecristi to begin work on rewriting the constitution
The assembly is due to meet for six months
BBC, 29 Nov, 2007

An assembly elected to rewrite Ecuador's constitution has begun work amid continuing tension between the president and the opposition.

President Rafael Correa, whose allies control the assembly, wants to push through reforms blocked by the opposition-dominated Congress.

Mr Correa says Congress is corrupt and inept and wants it dissolved until a new body can be elected.

His opponents have attacked his plans as an attack on democracy.

Mr Correa's drive for reform echoes those of his allies in Venezuela and Bolivia, Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa
Mr Correa made reform a key part of his 2006 election campaign

Mr Correa has repeatedly argued that constitutional reforms will make Ecuador a more just society and tackle endemic political instability.

The impoverished Andean nation has thrown out three presidents in the past 10 years.

Critics say the reforms will focus more power in the president's hands and this will frighten off foreign investors.

Mr Correa, who made reforming the constitution a key part of his election campaign last year, does enjoy widespread popular support.

In April, nearly 80% of voters backed his call for an assembly that would bypass Congress and rewrite the constitution. In September, voters then chose assembly members, giving 80 of the 130 seats to his Alianza Pais party.

The Constituent Assembly began its work on Thursday morning in the town of Montecristi, nearly two months after it was elected.

Supporters of Ecuador's constituent assembly gather outside as the assembly
Voters overwhelmingly backed plans to set up the assembly

The assembly is due to meet for six months, after which the draft constitution will be put to a national referendum for approval.

Mr Correa was expected to ask the assembly to force Congress into recess and assume its legislative powers until a new congress can be elected under a new constitution.

On Wednesday, members of Congress who do not recognise the assembly's authority voted to begin their end-of-year holiday early but insisted they would be back at work on 3 January.

No comments:

Post a Comment