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News > Latin America

LGBTQ Activist: Ecuador's Referendum Unconstitutional

  • Diane Rodriguez during a Slutwalk in Quito.

    Diane Rodriguez during a Slutwalk in Quito. | Photo: Front Line Defenders

Published 2 February 2018

She insisted that the National Electoral Council should have waited for the Constitutional Court's ruling before calling for the elections.

Trans activist and alternate legislator for PAIS Alliance party, Diane Rodriguez, says that the referendum or popular consultation as it is called in Ecuador was unconstitutionally called.


Ecuador's Referendum: Conciliation or 'Coup'?   

“No one questions that the President Lenin Moreno can call for a popular consultation,” Rodriguez said during an interview with TeleSUR’s Enclave Politica, “the issue here is that the way the popular consultation was called is unconstitutional.”

Rodriguez, president of the Ecuadorean Federation of LGBTQ Organizations, explained the executive decree sent to the National Electoral Council (CNE) to call for the vote lacked the consent of Ecuador’s Constitutional Court and reiterated the Council should have sought the court's approval.

“Article 104 of Ecuador’s Constitution mentions [the consultation] must have this ruling; article 438 does as well.” 

During the interview, she stated the importance of this pre-requisite to ensure the results of a referendum cannot have a negative impact on human rights or change the state’s fundamental structure.

She also stated that question two, which prohibits indefinite re-election, and question three, which restructures the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control, affect rights and change the fundamental structure of the state, accordingly.

Diane Rodriguez during her interview on TeleSUR.

The Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control represents the fifth power of the Ecuadorean state, along with the executive, legislative, judicial and electoral powers. It is in charge of designating the state attorney, all superintendents, the ombudsman, the public defender, the attorney general, the comptroller general, and the members of the National Electoral Council and the Constitutional Court.

Rodriguez has also pointed to "a lack of interest" on the part of the country's president to engage with members of the LGBTQ community on matters of public importance and the issues they face.

Meanwhile, Efrain Soria, founder, and coordinator of the Equality Foundation said it is the citizen’s obligation to actively participate in national politics, “otherwise, the country would go into decline.”

He stated that the referendum should be seen as an important theme for the LGBTQ community, as he hopes, that Moreno’s administration will guarantee public policies for them.

“The rights of the LGBTQ community should not be voted on; they must be guaranteed and exercised... Today we trust and hope that public policies are enacted,” said Soria, who sees the referendum as an opportunity for Ecuadoreans to express themselves.

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