The activists and groups ask that the National Electoral Council respect a norm on parity in the formation of lists (AP Photo / Dolores Ochoa)
Activists and women’s groups in Ecuador demand that the National Electoral Council comply with a transitory provision in force since February 2020 that indicates full parity in presidential binomials and in multi-person lists. This norm should be applied in the extraordinary elections in August of this year, when Ecuadorians return to the polls to elect a new president, vice president and 137 legislators who complete the current term.
In a public pronouncement, 99 people and 33 groups rejected that the National Electoral Council violates the provisions of the norm and recalled that: “The electoral body is responsible for applying the Law, not its extensive interpretation. There is no room for elaborate arguments pointing out the exceptionality of this election or any “agreement” with political organizations. The exceptional nature of this early election does not detract from its electoral nature, as it is subject to current constitutional and legal provisions.”
The transitory provision indicates that from the elections subsequent to the general elections after the law came into force, in the registration of multi-person and single-person candidacies, the minimum percentage of head of lists will be 50%. In addition, there will be the obligation of parity in the presidential binomials.
Declaration of women and groups
The groups point out that the election subsequent to the 2021 general election is that of August of this year, while the National Electoral Council has ruled out the application of the provision because it is an extraordinary election. Now, with the action of the activists and women’s groups, the Electoral Dispute Tribunal must decide whether the provision should be applied in these elections or not.
“We anticipate to the Ecuadorian people that the illegal and illegitimate decision of the National Electoral Council jeopardizes the very validity of the elections and our democratic institutionality, which in accordance with the provisions of article 10 of the Code of Democracy is based on compliance with the norm”, indicated the groups in their statement.
Karina Ponce, president of the Association Women for Gender Equity and Autonomy MEGA, in an interview with FM Mundo, said that it is a “shame that the high authorities of the electoral process see and execute and decide in an advisory council to break the law ”. Ponce also criticized the president of the National Electoral Council, Diana Atamaint, and the councilors Esthela Acero and Elena Najera, for consenting that the parity contemplated in the law not be applied in these elections: “(they are) main beneficiaries of parity because they are in their positions thanks to parity”.
Before the Electoral Contentious Tribunal, several activists presented three appeals. The causes were accumulated, that is, they will be reviewed and processed as one. According to MEGA, “this is a new triumph for women’s organizations and rights defenders.”
The National Electoral Council has already defined the calendar for the extraordinary elections in Ecuador
While this is resolved in the Electoral Tribunal, political parties must present their lists of candidates until June 10. As published by El Universo, “unofficially, it was explained that in the event that the electoral judges rule in favor of these appeals, the electoral calendar would have to be redrafted and the primary elections of pre-candidates called again so that the political groups incorporate a 50 % of female candidates as head of lists and presidential binomials with gender parity participate.
The electoral calendar for the extraordinary elections foresees that until June 10 the candidacies are registered and notified and that on Sunday, August 6, the official listings are published, once the challenges have been resolved. From Tuesday 8 to Thursday 17 August will be the electoral campaign period and on Sunday 20 August the elections.
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