Quito — The government of Ecuador has presented the questions it plans to pose in a plebiscite on eight key issues, and which, if approved by the majority, will be incorporated into the Constitution.
The eight issues relate to three main areas: citizens’ safety, the strengthening of democracy, and protection of the environment.
The most important questions concern a proposed reduction in the number of legislators, the extradition of Ecuadorians who have committed organized crime, and the reduction of powers of the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control.
Although one or more questions on economic issues were expected since the plan for the plebiscite was announced, none were included.
The government hopes to carry out the vote before the country goes to the polls in municipal and provincial elections in February 2023.
The planned plebiscite is not a certainty however, as the country’s Constitutional Court must first determine its constitutionality.
The questions citizens would be asked are the following:
Currently, the Armed Forces are not permitted to assist the National Police in internal protection and maintenance of public order. The question therefore is:
Do you agree with the Armed Forces being permitted to complement the functions of the National Police to combat organized crime, amending the Constitution to that end?”Question 1
The extradition of Ecuadorians is forbidden for all crimes, including those connected to transnational organized crime, such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking and people trafficking. The question is:
Would you agree to allow the extradition of Ecuadorian citizens who have committed crimes related to transnational organized crime, through processes that respect human rights and guarantees, amending the Constitution to that end?Question 2
Currently, the Judiciary Council selects, evaluates, promotes, trains and sanctions prosecutors, despite the fact that the Prosecutor’s Office is an autonomous body. Thus, the following question:
Do you agree with guaranteeing the autonomy of the State Attorney General’s Office, so that it can select, evaluate, promote, train and sanction its employees through a Prosecutorial Council, amending the Constitution to that end?Question 3
STRENGTHENING OF DEMOCRACY
Currently, the National Assembly is made up of 137 members and it is estimated that, with the 2022 population census, this number will increase to approximately 152 members. Therefore, the question is:
Do you agree with reducing the number of assembly members and having them elected according to the following criteria: one assembly member per province and one additional provincial assembly member for every 250,000 inhabitants; two national assembly members for every million inhabitants, and one assembly member for every 500,000 inhabitants residing abroad, amending the Constitution to that effect?Question 4
There are currently 272 political parties in Ecuador. These do not guarantee citizen representation, or an adequate participation of their members. The question will be:
Do you agree with requiring political movements to have a minimum number of members, equivalent to 1.5% of the electoral register of their jurisdiction, and obliging them to keep a register of their members, periodically audited by the National Electoral Council, amending the Constitution to that effect?Question 5
THE Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control (CPCCS) is a government body that has the authority to designate 77 authorities. The question is:
Do you agree with the proposal to eliminate the CPCCS’s power to appoint authorities and the implementation of processes that guarantee meritocracy, public scrutiny, collaboration and control of various institutions, so that the National Assembly will be the body to appoint such persons currently elected by the CPCCS and its advisors, amending the Constitution to that effect?Question 6
The Constitution excludes water protection areas from the National System of Protected Areas, and which therefore do not enjoy the protection of such system. The question will be:
Do you agree with the incorporation of a water protection subsystem to the National System of Protected Areas, amending the Constitution to that effect?Question 7
The Constitution does not provide for compensation to those who support the provision of environmental services. Therefore:
Do you agree that individuals, communities, peoples and nationalities may be beneficiaries of compensations duly regularized by the State, for their support to the provision of environmental services, amending the Constitution to that effect?Question 8