Ecuador: lawmakers end presidential term limits

Ecuador's National Assembly on Dec. 3 passed a constitutional amendment lifting presidential term limits, beginning in 2021. The 16 constitutional amendments were approved in a vote of 100-8 in a legislature where sitting President Rafael Correa's political party, Alianza Pais, has a two-thirds majority. Though Correa, who has been president since 2007 and will finish his second term in 2017, has said that he will not participate  in the next election in 2017, he will be eligible to run again in 2021 under the new amendment. The vote has caused protests, some violent, against the amendments by demonstrators who believe that the vote represents a power-grab by Correa. They wanted the National Assembly to either not vote on the proposal or to put it to a popular vote, as was done in Bolivia earlier this year. While congressman Luis Fernando Torres called the vote constitutional fraud,  Correa tweeted on the matter to contend that he will continue to govern with "total democratic legitimacy."

From Jurist, Dec. 4. used with permission.