In Ecuador, with more than 70% of the counting completed, the constitutional referendum was rejected by the majority of the population. According to National Electoral Council (CNE)in all eight questions more than 50% of the votes are for rejection.
The consultation was proposed by the Ecuadorian president, Guillermo Lasso, in September last year to include eight amendments to the Constitution in articles related to the environment, security and democracy.
For security, the proposals were: to authorize the extradition of persons involved in transnational crimes; and change functions of the State Attorney General’s Office, disassociating the body from the Council of Magistracy, made up of judges who are now responsible for the selection process, promotions and supervision of prosecutors.
In the field of democratic participation, Lasso proposed increasing the number of seats in the National Assembly and limiting the functions of the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control.
As for the environment, Lasso wanted to create a water protection subsystem, under the control of the National System of Protected Areas and offer compensation to communities affected by mining activity.
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For the president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), Leonidas Iza, the rejection of the constitutional amendments is a “triumph of the people”.
“People who can’t study, who don’t have a job, have said no to this popular consultation eight times,” declared Iza.
President Guillermo Lasso conceded defeat and said the aim of the consultation was to listen to the people. “What happened on Sunday was a call from the people to the government and we are not going to evade that responsibility,” he said in national television broadcast.
Finally, he called on all political sectors to sign a great national agreement for Ecuador. “I congratulate those who received support in the regional elections and invite them to work together,” he said.
Paola Pabón, who has just been re-elected governor of the province of Pichincha by the opposition party Citizen Revolution, says that the elections and the result of the plebiscite mark “the beginning of the country’s recovery”.
Pabón also defended that his party’s triumph in the regional elections last Sunday (6) represents the continuation of the new wave in Latin America, in which people demand that progressive governments can solve the crisis situation.
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Last Sunday’s electoral process is the last before the 2025 general elections, when some 13 million Ecuadorians are expected to choose a new president.
understand the story
The current Ecuadorian Constitution is part of the so-called “new Latin American constitutionalism”. Following the example of Venezuela, which amended its Magna Carta in 1999, and Bolivia, which became a plurinational state in 2005, Ecuador elected a Constituent Assembly in 2007 to write a new Magna Carta. The text recognizes that the country is a plurinational and intercultural State, in addition to creating two other new state powers: electoral power and the function of transparency and social control, which accompany the functions of the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary.
The Ecuadorian Constitution underwent a popular referendum for its approval and underwent amendments, based on new public consultations held in 2011.
Already in its preamble, the text makes clear the paradigm shift in the nation’s vision, “as heirs of the social struggles for liberation in the face of all forms of domination and colonialism, and with a deep commitment to the present and the future, we decided to build a new form of citizen coexistence”.
Editing: Thales Schmidt
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