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Former Ecuador president calls ouster unconstitutional

[JURIST] Ousted Ecuador president Lucio Gutierrez [Wikipedia profile] said Friday that his removal from office Wednesday by the Ecuadorian Congress [JURIST report] violated the country's constitution [text in Spanish] and that, contrary to its contention, he never abandoned his post. Gutierrez’s remarks come 3 days after the Congress voted [JURIST report] 62-0 to remove him from office under the allegation that he had abandoned his post. The vote, which allowed Congress to avoid the lengthy impeachment process, marks the third time in nine years a Ecuadorian president has been removed from office. In fact, Gutierrez, as an army officer, led the coup in 2000 that toppled the then president, Jamil Mahuad. Gutierrez has sought asylum in Brazil and released his statement from the Brazilian ambassador's residence in Ecuador. New President Alfredo Palacio indicated late Friday that Gutierrez would be allowed to leave the country, but set no timetable. AP has more.

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