These are the eight questions for which Ecuadorians will vote in the referendum on February 5
The government of Guillermo Lasso encourages the approval of each consultation that will lead to constitutional changes
Yalilé LoaizaFrom Quito
Ecuadorians within the national territory and abroad will go to the polls on February 5, 2023 to elect local authorities, the Participation Council and to approve or reject the referendum promoted by Guillermo Lasso. (EFE/Ángeles Visdómine)
The constitutional referendum of 2023 is a plebiscite process that will be held on Sunday February 5, 2023 in Ecuador with the purpose of reforming the constitution five sensitive areas: the fight against transnational crimes, party political representation, appointment of administration control authorities and environmental protection.
The consultation was convened by the president Guillermo Lasso on November 29, 2022 when in public opinion it had less than 20% acceptance.
The ballot or ballot paper has eight questions that the voter You can approve or reject through the options Yes and No. On September 12, 2022, President Guillermo Lasso announced the submission of the request for the constitutionality of the questions to the first filter in the convocation process, which is the Constitutional Court for its prior approval. p>
Guillermo Lasso's administration called a referendum. The National Electoral Council must prepare the logistics for this to take place next February. (Twitter/Guillermo Lasso)
Of the package of questions submitted, the only one that was rejected by the highest body of constitutional control was one referring to the complementary support of the Armed Forces in the functions of the National Police to combat organized crime.
These are the questions and the constitutional reforms proposed by the government
Each of the questions has an annex that immediately accompanies the text of the questions. The annexes specify what reforms will be made and the deadlines to introduce them in the cases of the elaboration of procedures or regulations inferior to the constitution. The most important details of Executive Decree No. 607 issued on November 29, 2022 by President Guillermo Lasso are summarized below.
Question 1: Passive extradition of Ecuadorians
The first question of the referendum focuses on the possibility of extraditing an Ecuadorian who has committed transnational crimes, such as drug trafficking, and who is wanted by another country. (Ecuador Police)
Do you agree with allowing the extradition of Ecuadorians who have committed crimes related to transnational organized crime, through processes that respect rights and guarantees, amending the Constitution according to Annex 1?
If the Yes vote is won, the constitution would be reformed in such a way that the prohibition of extradition of Ecuadorian citizens who will be tried in accordance with Ecuadorian law is maintained except in the case of a requirement by courts of justice of other countries that request Ecuadorians residents in Ecuador who have committed crimes related to organized crime or transnational crime such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms trafficking or money laundering.
Question 2 : Changes in the Council of the Judiciary and the General Prosecutor's Office.
Do you agree with guaranteeing the autonomy of the State Attorney General's Office, so that it selects, evaluates, promotes, trains and sanctions the servers that make it up through a Fiscal Council, amending the Constitution in accordance with Annex 2?
The referendum proposes changes related to the State Attorney General's Office and the Council of the Judiciary. (State Attorney General's Office)
The aim is to amend the constitution with the intention of granting greater autonomy to the Judicial Council and to the State Attorney General's Officewith the intention that the former define and directly execute the policies for the improvement and modernization of the judicial system, prepare and approve the pro forma budget of the Judicial Function and direct the selection processes of judges and other judicial servers, as well as their evaluation , promotions and disciplinary regime.
The same is sought for the General Prosecutor's Office, which would have an administrative, technical and auxiliary body called the Prosecutor Council to administer the procedures for the selection, evaluation, promotion and punishment of prosecutors in accordance with the law.
According to the current provisions of the constitution, both bodies of the Judiciary, both the Judicial Council and the State Attorney General's Office, depend for their appointment on a Participation Council, which is an instance institutionally dominated by the president of the Republic.
Question 3 and 4: Reduction of assembly members and political organizations
Currently the Ecuadorian Legislature has 137 congressmen. The referendum raises the reduction of seats. (EFE/José Jácome)
Do you agree with reducing the number of assembly members and that they be elected according to the following criteria: 1 assembly member per province and 1 additional provincial assembly member for every 250,000 inhabitants; 2 national assembly members for every million inhabitants; and 1 assembly member for every 500,000 inhabitants residing abroad, amending the Constitution in accordance with Annex 3?
Do you agree with demanding that political movements have a minimum number of affiliates equivalent to 1.5% of the electoral register of their jurisdiction and forcing them to keep a register of their members audited periodically by the National Electoral Council, amending the Constitution? according to Annex 4?
According to the current constitution, the National Assembly is made up of district, provincial, national and extraterritorial assembly members. For each case there are different criteria for population representation, starting from a territorial distribution criterion that assigns two assembly members for each province and one more for every two hundred thousand inhabitants or fraction greater than one hundred and fifty thousand. This produces an ever-growing legislature of 137 members.
According to the proposed reform, there would be two assembly members elected in a national constituency for every million inhabitants, one assembly member for each province, and one more for every two hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants, without considering fractions; and, one assemblyman elected by constituency from abroad for every five hundred thousand inhabitants residing abroad.
The consultation proposes that political parties be national in scope and are constantly audited. (REUTERS/Santiago Arcos)
Political parties will have a national characterTherefore, they must have an organization with a presence throughout the country and that covers at least half of the country's provinces, two of which must correspond to the three provinces with the largest population. In Ecuador there are 24 provinces, the most populated are Guayas, Pichincha and Manabí. This means that a party can only be national and to qualify as such it must have directives in each of the cantons of at least 12 provinces, of which two must be among the most populous.
The membership register of a political party must not be less than 1.5% of the voter register used during the last election. Political movements, which are smaller organizations than political parties, can adapt to any level of government or extraterritorial jurisdiction, but they must have a list of affiliates that contains at least 1.5% of the electoral roll used in the last electoral process of your jurisdiction of registration and participation. The law will specify the requirements and conditions for the organization, sustainability and democratic functioning of political movements, as well as the incentives for their coalitions.
These rules will be promulgated within forty-five days following the publication of the referendum results. Political movements must reform their statutes or regulations within thirty days after the publication of the referendum results.
Question 5 and 6: Change in the form of election control authorities< /h2>
The Council for Citizen Participation and Control Social would stop designating the control authorities if it won the Yes vote in the referendum on February 5. (GK/Diego Ayala)
Do you agree with eliminating the power to designate authorities that the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control (CPCCS) has and implement public processes that guarantee citizen participation, meritocracy and public scrutiny, so that it is the National Assembly that designates through these processes to the authorities currently elected by the CPCCS amending the Constitution in accordance with Annex 5?
Do you agree with modifying the designation process of the members of the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control, so that they are elected through a process that guarantees citizen participation, meritocracy, public scrutiny, carried out by the National Assembly, amending the Constitution in accordance with Annex 6?
With the current constitution, the Participation Council chose 77 control authorities that the National Assembly only possessed. With the reform, it is intended that the legislatures designate and possess the highest authorities, holders and alternates of the State Comptroller General, State Attorney General, Ombudsman, Public Defender and the members of the National Electoral Council and the Electoral Dispute Tribunal in accordance with the appointment procedure by citizen application provided for in the Constitution and the law.
These appointment processes will go through a Technical Commissioninstalled occasionally to organize the holding of competitions that will produce different shortlists from which the legislature will choose the new titular and alternate authorities. The applications, contests, designations and possessions will be held under the principles of transparency, publicity, meritocracy and public scrutiny, and will be carried out through the stages of oversight, citizen application, selection and designation.
The National Assembly would be in charge of the designation of the control authorities as it was done before the creation of the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control. (EFE/National Assembly of Ecuador)
The president of the National Assembly will begin the designation process with the call for citizen applications and the publication of the list of monitoring organizations. The call will be made ninety days before the end of the period of the outgoing authority. The list of monitoring organizations will be previously sent by the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control, which will select them considering their track record and expertise.
Citizen application will be made within a period of twenty days, counted from the call. The National Assembly will publish the applications on its digital platform within one day of receipt. The selection of candidates will be carried out by technical selection commissions that will be in charge of reviewing the admissibility, evaluating the applicants under the principles of meritocracy and specialty and resolving citizen challenges.
In no case may the National Assembly review or modify the list submitted by the technical selection commissions. The President of the National Assembly will convene the Plenary of the National Assembly for the appointment and possession of the candidates within a maximum period of ten days, counted from the receipt of the binding report. The Plenary of the National Assembly will vote for the candidates in the order of priority and will designate the titular and substitute authorities, with the vote of the absolute majority of the members of the National Assembly.
The titular and substitute members of the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control will be elected with the vote of the absolute majority of the members of the National Assembly from among the list of twenty candidates submitted by the technical selection commission. The president of the National Assembly will begin the designation process with the call for citizen applications and the publication of the list of monitoring organizations.
Question 7: Subsystem for the protection of sources of water
With the reform it is sought that the foreign persons or entities are disqualified from purchasing land or concessions under any property rights within an area classified by law as a national security or protected area.
Do you agree that a water protection subsystem be incorporated into the National System of Protected Areas, amending the Constitution in accordance with Annex 7?
The system of National protected areas ensure the maintenance of biodiversity and ecological functions. The reform seeks to foreign persons or entities be disqualified from purchasing land or concessions under any property rights within an area classified by law as a national security or protected area.The National Assembly must issue legal regulations on this matter and until that happens it will be the Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Ecological Transition that issues the permits for the formal occupation of territories in these areas for compatriots. The existing water source protection zones will be assigned to the water source protection zone subsystem within a period of no more than ninety days from the date of publication of the referendum results in the Official Gazette of Ecuador.< /p>
Question 8: Compensation for environmental services
Do you agree that individuals, communities, peoples and nationalities can be beneficiaries of compensation duly regularized by the State, for its support for the generation of environmental services, amending the Constitution in accordance with Annex 8?
With this question, the State seeks provide compensation for biodiversity conservation. (EFE/César Muñoz Acebes/Archive)
The constitutional amendment regarding environmental compensation seeks that people, communities, cities and nationalities have access to the environment and natural resources that allow them to live well. Environmental services will be subject to appropriation under any form of domain acquisition and therefore may not be privatized. The State, as administrator of environmental services, will regulate their production, provision, use and exploitation, and will determine the guidelines and compensation mechanisms that individuals and communities that currently have this type of domain under their custody will receive.