A Collaboration with University of Pittsburgh   

Ecuador constitutional assembly suspends national congress

[JURIST] The special Constitutional Assembly in Ecuador charged with rewriting Ecuador's constitution [text, in Spanish] suspended Ecuador's congress Thursday pending approval of a new charter in a nation-wide referendum, expected late next year. The special assembly, controlled by leftist President Rafael Correa [official website, in Spanish; personal website], will assume legislative duties until the new constitution is approved and the special assembly calls general elections. Correa pledged [JURIST report] to disband the Ecuadorean Congress and rewrite the country's constitution shortly after his leftist coalition won a landslide victory [JURIST report] in the Constitutional Assembly elections last month. Correa plans to push for a constitution free of foreign influence and to institute reforms to restrain powerful political parties [JURIST report], increase government accountability, and hold regional, rather than national, elections. Also last month, Correa urged the Constitutional Assembly [JURIST report] to consider transforming the current Constitutional Tribunal [official website] into a Constitutional Court insulated from political pressure. AP has more.

Correa proposed convening a constitutional assembly to draft a new constitution after a referendum to rewrite [JURIST report] the current constitution was overwhelmingly passed in April. Critics fear that Correa will follow the lead of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [BBC profile] in using the assembly to expand presidential power [JURIST report]. In April, the Congress dismissed the prior Constitutional Tribunal judges after they ordered the reinstatement of 50 lawmakers [JURIST report] who were dismissed [JURIST report] in February by the country's electoral tribunal for allegedly interfering in the referendum.

Support JURIST

We rely on our readers to keep JURIST running

 Donate now!

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.