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Ecuador creates commission for popular consultation bills

Quito, May 21 (Prensa Latina) Ecuador’s National Assembly has set up on Tuesday the multi-party commission that will be responsible for processing the five bills arising from the referendum held on April 21.

With 88 votes in favor, the Plenary of the Legislative turned out to be this work table to be integrated by the assembly members Patricia Mendoza, representing the Citizen Revolution Movement (RC); Ingrid Salazar, belonging to the “Construye” (Build Up) Movement; Carlos Vera, on behalf of the Social Christian Party (PSC); Steven Ordoñez, voicing the ruling National Democratic Action Movement (ADN) and the independent assembly member Lucia Posso.

Posso deemed that reforms on the issues passed in the referendum will be passed within 60 days, ‘because there is nothing to make up and nothing to incorporate’, he stated.

As regulated, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa sent to parliament the package of bills last week in order to apply the results of the consultative process, in which citizens said yes to nine security-related questions.

Aligned with the people’s will, the chief executive’s proposals include escalated penalties for terrorism, illicit drug production and trafficking, organized crime, murder, contract killings, human trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, arms trafficking, money laundering and illicit mining activities.

For those crimes, the penalties suggested by Noboa double those established in the current Organic Comprehensive Penal Code.

The Assembly will further address changes to the Organic Law on Extinction of Ownership, to facilitate the State’s ownership of assets of illicit or unjustified origin.

Although Noboa’s bills will have to be debated and the members of the special multi-party commission can adjust them, they cannot be rejected because they are derived from the popular consultation, i.e. Ecuadorians have already given their approval at the ballot box.