Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2007

Six ousted lawmakers flee to Colombia

April 26, 2007


— Six ousted opposition lawmakers fled to Colombia after an Ecuadorean prosecutor requested that they and their colleagues be arrested for sedition.

Prosecutor Elsa Moreno accused two dozen ousted lawmakers of disregarding authority after they declared themselves to be legitimate congressmen based on a ruling this week by Ecuador's Constitutional Tribunal.

The tribunal was then dismissed by the sitting congress, as President Rafael Correa tightened his hold over all branches of government. On Tuesday, Correa disregarded the tribunal's ruling and surrounded Congress with police to prevent the lawmakers from returning.

Alfonso Harb, one of the six ousted congressmen who fled to Colombia, on Wednesday said the prosecutor's request for the arrest warrants represents "political persecution against the opposition congressmen. ... We were dismissed unfairly in violation of the constitution."

More than half of congress was fired in March by an electoral tribunal that accused the lawmakers of interfering with a referendum on the need for a new constitution.


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