Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ecuador: Tensions rise over referendum and fired lawmakers

Ecuador’s political crisis has deepened with opposition politicians behind the creation of an anti-government legislative assembly, while alternate legislators were sworn in to replace approximately fifty dismissed Congressmen. Additional security precautions were taken at Ecuador’s Congress building to avoid last week’s disruptions.

The political controversy in Ecuador stems from President Rafael Correa’s push to have a constitutional referendum. So far the referendum’s date has been set for April 15th, and the BBC notes that:

“(President Correa) wants the people to have a greater say and is organizing a referendum next month as the first step in setting up a series of assemblies that would by-pass the power of the Congress.

The established politicians, not surprisingly, do not want to relinquish power and are fighting back”.

Links- Financial Times, Prensa Latina, The Latin Americanist, Reuters AlertNet, BBC News

Image- Washington Post (Ecuadorian parliamentarians knocking heads with police last week)

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