Ecuador's ruling party, PAIS Alliance, has announced its opposition to President Lenin Moreno over his proposed plebiscite, which his party said affects constitutional rights.
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PAIS Alliance Vice President Ricardo Patiño said supporters will join a march to demand that the Constitutional Court rules out the plebiscite. Party leaders also said they will vote against two of the questions included in the plebiscite if it does pass.
Moreno ran for the PAIS Alliance and pledged to continue its ten-year Citizen's Revolution initiated by former President Rafael Correa. Since he took office in May, he has distanced himself and even criticized the former administration, in a move categorized by critics as a shift to the right by the party.
One of the key issues being contested is the elimination of re-election by changing the country's constitution, which was passed in 2008. PAIS Alliance leaders said this question is targeted at forbidding Correa from running for president again while attacking his rights.
Moreno has also proposed to remove members of the Citizen Participation Council from their positions. The council, created by Correa, is intended to empower residents alongside government institutions.
La Corte Constitucional no debe aprobar 2 preguntas de la consulta. Aquí las razones https://t.co/AWkp14AJhd— Ricardo Patiño (@RicardoPatinoEC) October 23, 2017
The Constitutional Court shouldn't approve two questions from the plebiscite. Here are the reasons.
"The most serious is the (question) of the (Citizen) Participation Council, apart from being unconstitutional, it is an attempt of a soft coup, because it replaces a council that has been elected through merits by a temporary commission appointed by the president with full powers to intervene in different entities of the state," Lawmaker Doris Soliz said.
Soliz said she is against the plebiscite since it intends to "attack the institutionality of the country" and "persecute colleagues."
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The country's Constitutional Court would need to assess the petition of the plebiscite made by the executive branch and analyze the questions. Then the National Electoral Council would have to begin the election process.
PAIS Alliance has also criticized the fact that one of the questions targets Ecuadorean Vice President Jorge Glas, who is under pre-trial detention over alleged corruption and has been one of the most critical voices against Moreno's policies.
Moreno stripped Glas of his official duties in August, but has not launched a formal trial against him. Glas said this was a retaliation against him for denouncing the pacts made between Moreno and the country's right wing, including bankers and large business owners.