Ecuador's new Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control, in charge of appointing state-agency officials, will be represented mostly by male supporters of President Lenin Moreno, it has been revealed.
With 82 votes in favor, 20 against and 24 abstentions, and from a list of 21 candidates sent by Moreno, lawmakers on Tuesday elected six men and one woman — a split with the long-standing tradition of gender parity implemented by Rafael Correa's previous government.
The appointed councilors are Julio Cesar Trujillo, Luis Macas, Luis Hernandez, Pablo Davila, Xavier Zavala Egas, Eduardo Mendoza and Myriam Felix. Their substitutes are due to be elected next Tuesday.
The group of 23 lawmakers who voted against the move and support Correa released a statement criticizing a "serious institutional crisis" and "judicial coup" against "public powers like control and justice."
One legislator, Marcela Aguiñaga, told Andes that her colleagues refused to support any of the candidates because the lawmakers consider the referendum carried out on Feb. 4 "unconstitutional."
Question three in the popular consult planned to restructure the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control, terminating the constitutional period of its current members, and allowing for the designation of a temporary council.
The council – responsible for choosing the state attorney, superintendents, the ombudsman, and electoral and judicial authorities – has also been restructured, changing the way its seven council members are chosen.
On Nov. 29, arguing that the Constitutional Court had exceeded 20 days in submitting its ruling – which some legal experts and adversaries contest – Moreno bypassed mandatory assessment on the constitutionality of the referendum questions.
He then issued a presidential decree calling on the National Electoral Council to schedule a date for the referendum.
Correa called the move a "coup" and his followers have been campaigning against the vote and the alleged illegality of the referendum itself.