Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Random Points Early in the Morning

It's 04h00 and I'm up a bit early before going for a run in quiet, dark Quito. Assuming it's not raining - and it isn't this morning - it's a great time to go out because there's no traffic, no humo, no noise, and when it's clear, stars and maybe a late moon hanging in the west over Pichincha. My novia and I don't know how many other Quitenos have expressed fear that I go out like this, asserting that I could be mugged. Depends on where one goes, I suppose, but generally, I see almost no one during my early morning outings, and best of all, I avoid the crazed, speeding bus drivers that abound later (05h30-06h00 and on) that abound on the streets here, including, btw, SCHOOL bus drivers, who sometimes are worse than the ordinary passenger bus guys. Still, having lived in several other countries in Latin America, Ecuador's not much different from places like Colombia or Panama, where the buseros, or ABUSEROS, as I call them, are just as common.

-- But I wander, so on to other points.

Correa and the Congress. I've mentioned President Rafael Correa and his Saturday morning radio shows before, and last Saturday, aside from declaring ANOTHER emergency, this time on the prison system (he's declared emergencies before on the Social Security hosptial system, the road system, schools, gas availability, and security, and those are the ones that I can remember), he asserted that once the Constitutional Assembly is sworn in, it can dissolve the National Assembly, or Congress, here.

I've read the statute approved in the Consulta Popular (national referendum) last April, as have many other people. Notwithstanding that lots of people can read in this country some Correa cabinet members have floated the idea that the CA can take decisions/actions affecting the institutional structure of the government BEFORE issuing the results of their consitutional deliberations and BEFORE submitting those results to next Consulta Popular mandated to approve those results. Fortunately, reading people here have pointed out that while admittedly, the statute approved in April could have been written a bit more clearly, most of the country does NOT want to have a rogue, uncontrolled CA dissolving the government structure without the populace having a say in the issue beforehand.

On this same issue, Correa's done us all a favor by highlighting once again what he thinks the CA (which he hopes to control) can and should do, which is to neutralize any governmental body which doesn't do his bidding, again without letting the general polity approve those actions in the follow on Consulta Popular. Monday, Fernado Bustamante, Correa's securityh advisor, came out the same sort of statements, so it's clear that this just isn't one of Correa's typical, hot-headed comments; it's a thought and directed strategy aimed at bringing down another branch of government (as has been done already with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and the Constitutional Tribunal).

Not surprisingly, Correa's Saturday statements have pissed off a bunch of Diputados who have since made public the same point I just made. The executive branch should not be making comments about bringing down another branch of government under any circumstances and while it's possible that the CA may propose electing a new Congress or something like it, it falls to the people to decide on that, not 60 or 80 of Correa's allies in a CA.

Still, I think Correa's statements are helpful, because it shows once again that he's after complete power just like his buddy in Venezuela; I sure hope more and more people here understand that - and disagree with it.

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