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Constitutional Background

The agenda for the long-overdue reform of the constitution ended with the adoption of the new 1998 Constitution which was adopted on 5 June 1998 and is in force since 10 Aug 1998.  On of its provision, the immediate release of all prisoners held without trial for more than one year (about 1.000), led to prisoners' hunger strikes when only few of the eligible inmates were actually released.

The Social Christians are the parties of former president Leon Febres Cordero. The market-oriented Social Christian Party (PSC) now runs under Jaime Nebot.

History and News

  • 10 Aug 1998: New Constitution in force.
  • 5 June 1998: Adoption of the 1998 Constitution.
  • May 1998: Presidential and congressional elections.
  • 25 May 1997: Referendum decides about constitutional assembly to be formed in 1997. The referendum was mainly called to confirm Alarcon in his post.
  • Feb 1997: Trade unions launch a nationwide strike against the President's price rises. A congressional coup ends the Bucaram presidency and later imposes a lifelong ban on him. Congress removes the president on grounds of "mental incapacity", but honestly for his growing unpopularity (75% in support of removal, four arrest warrants for corruption). Congress also votes its own chairman Fabian Alarcon as new president even though the Constitution formerly requires that the vice-president (Rosalia Arteaga) take the vacant position and now does not have any provision about vacancy. Congress unsuccessfully tried to get a resignation from the vice-president.
  • 7 July 1996: Abdala Bucaram wins presidential elections by appealing to the poor (increased subsidies, slow privatization) against right-of-center candidate Jaime Nebot. 
  • Oct 1995: Accused of corruption by the Supreme Court, Vice-President Alberto Dahik leaves the country in his private plane, starting a constitutional crisis around the three-month Dahik scandal. Eduardo Pena becomes new vice-president. Supreme Court investigations were stalled by the government ordering special police forces to seize microfilm documents in the Central Bank. One Supreme Court judge is impeached. The Court, supported by the president of Congress, Fabian Alarcon, threatenes to indict President Sixto Duran Ballen himself.
  • 1979: Ecuador becomes a democratic state.
  • 1830: Foundation of the Ecuadorian State.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - December 18th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.