Tuesday, March 20, 2007
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:Ecuador set for Congress showdown

Ecuador’s government says it will not allow the 57 legislators it sacked this month to take up their seats when Congress tries to meet.

A heavy police guard will be on duty to try to prevent a repeat of last week when the politicians tried to force their way in amid violent clashes.


If the politicians cannot get in to the congress building in the capital, Quito, then there is no quorum and a major element of Ecuadorean politics simply will not function.

This is a pretty remarkable situation. I certainly know of cases where a president has dissolved a legislature outright, but I can’t think of another example where a portion of the legislature was fired, and by an institutional actor other than the president. In this case, it was the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

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2 Responses to “Ecuadoran Crisis Continues”

  1. MSS Says:

    What about the Colombian Constituent Assembly decreeing the dissolution of congress in 1991? It arguably lacked the authority to do so, though it also arguably had greater legitimacy than an electoral tribunal in doing so.

  2. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

    A good example of a non-presidential dissolution with questionable authority. At least one can make an argument about electoral legitimization both in the election of the Assembly and the replacement of Congress (essentially the same argument the Colombian Supreme Court made in regards to the seventh ballot and the subsequent calling of the Assembly). Still, an example of non-presidential dismissal.

    I am especially struck by the fact that it is only part of the legislature that was dismissed. Can you think of anything similar elsewhere?

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