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Ecuador’s Parliament debates how to deal with referendum reforms

Quito, May 2 (Prensa Latina) Ecuador awaits the proclamation of the official results of the referendum on April 21st, while the National Assembly discusses how to deal with the reforms derived from the process.

Although the National Electoral Council reported that the national hearing will take place this Thursday to continue counting the votes, several formal steps are still missing before proclaiming the final results.

Meanwhile, the assembly members are debating the possible formation of a multiparty commission to discuss the legal reforms that will have to be made to at least five regulations as a result of the results of the polls.

Specifically, they will have to make changes to the Penal Code, since citizens approved the increase in penalties for the crimes of terrorism, drug production and trafficking, organized crime, murder, hitmen, human trafficking and kidnapping for ransom, among others.

They must also adjust the legislation so that inmates serve all of their sentences in prison, as well as classifying the crime of possession and carrying of weapons that are for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces and the National Police.

Another legal change derived from the referendum will be that weapons, their parts, accessories, and explosives or ammunition used in a crime will be destined for the immediate use of law enforcement. Moreover, the legislators must simplify the procedure for the State to be the owner of assets of illicit or unjustified origin.

To carry out all these reforms, the groups are evaluating the need for a special commission or process each of them in the existing legislative tables.