[Marxism] another victory in Ecuador

Duroyan Fertl dfertl at yahoo.com.au
Thu Feb 15 20:19:42 MST 2007

>From what I can tell, the vote was actually 54-1, with 2 abstentions. Correa, even on a VERY good day (which it was), could only muster 54 votes out of the 100 - and that was only with the help of opponent ex-president Lucio Gutierrez, whose Patriotic Society Party is the second largest in Congress with 24 seats. The rest of the opposition left the Congress before the vote was taken, bar one, who stayed to argue.

I actually suspect the two abstentions are in fact the two ex-members of the PSP (one of them Gutierrez' own wife), who Gutierrez had expelled from the party for supporting the idea of the Constituent Assembly. Two days later, of course, Gutierrez had decided to change tune, in an attempt to use his party's weight in Congress as leverage to get a number of institutional positions for the PSP, and for Gutierrez himself to preside over the presidency of the Assembly.

It would appear that the politicking of both the PSP and the Congress as a whole (not to mentoin the TSE) has come to nought. Correa has clarified that the Assembly will have the power to dismiss the Congress, the courts, and even the president himself, and that it will have full plenipotentiary powers.

However, as Correa said, "The fight is just beginning". The real battle is now going to be to keep the old parties from bogging the assembly down and hijacking it so that it is useless. The CONAIE, ECUARUNARI and other indigenous groups have formed a Plurinational Front for the Assembly, to take their demands into that particular arena, and from the look of things, they are also mobilising in a more 'traditional' way to protect the process from derailing.

Keep an eye on ecuador-rising.blogspot.com for english news and translations of events in Ecuador. 


Greg McDonald <sabocat59 at mac.com> wrote: I'm new to this list and have been reading the posts for a few days  
to become familiar with the terrain.  I like what I've read so far.  
The various topics are debated with rigor and, for the most part, a  
sense of collegiality.  I appreciate in particular the COSATU post.

Switching gears and continents, I'd like to provide a rough  
translation of an article in Rebelion this morning on the emerging  
Bolivarian consensus in Ecuador.

Yesterday in Congress a measure was passed approving a popular  
consultation to define the establishment of a National Constituent  
Assembly with unlimited powers to restructure the state apparatus and  
write a new constitution.

The resolution represents a victory for president Rafael Correa, who  
assumed office on January 15 with the promise of installing an  
Assembly with full powers to restructure the state, reform the  
Constitution of 1998, make socialism viable, and dismantle  

The 100 member unicameral Congress approved the measure which will  
now be voted on by popular referendum, an instance that was never  
envisioned in the current constitution, but which emerged as an  
expression of popular discontent with politics as usual. The  
resolution was approved by 57 of 58 deputies present. The electoral  
commission must now define the date for the referendum.

If a majority of Ecuadoreans vote yes, they will elect 130  
representatives to the Assembly, who will then have 180 days with a  
possible extension of 60 additional days to finish the job.

Edison Chavez, vice president of the Congress, called it a historic  
decision. Although critics of the popular assembly see it as a  
duplication of the Venezuelan socialist model that will lead to  
chaos, the consultation has been the direct result of the struggle of  
Ecuadorean social movements, politicians and indigenous organizations  
which were present in the street outside the halls of Congress again  
yesterday to pressure deputies to approve the measure.

The demonstration was organized by indigenous, political, social, and  
student organizations, and began in the morning next to the  
Parliament building. Later, 3,000 people congregated just outside the  
entrance to the building after learning that Congress had approved  
the measure. The demonstrators, flying Ecuadorean flags along with  
banners representing various left-wing parties and placards calling  
for the popular assembly, also showed their displeasure with right- 
wing congresistas who had tried to block a vote on the measure.

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