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Ecuador lawmakers fight protesters in bid to retake seats

[JURIST] Lawmakers dismissed in February from Ecuador's Congress clashed with protesters Wednesday in an unsuccessful bid to forcibly retake their seats in the country's assembly. Police cordoned off the Congress building during the confrontation. The legislators were sacked [JURIST report] by Ecuador's electoral tribunal [official website, in Spanish] and eventually replaced by supporters of President Rafael Correa [official website, in Spanish; BBC profile] after they were found to have illegally interfered with Correa's proposed referendum on constitutional reform [JURIST report], which carried by an overwhelming majority [JURIST report] last month. Ecuador's Constitutional Tribunal [official website, in Spanish] subsequently reinstated the dismissed lawmakers, but the infuriated pro-Correa Congress then voted to dismiss the judges of the court [JURIST report].

The dismissed lawmakers fought with police [JURIST report] when they first attempted to retake their seats after the original electoral tribunal decision. In the face of a Correa-instituted police blockade of the Congress building after the high court reinstatement order they at first hesitated to try and force their way in again, but one legislator told Reuters Wednesday, "We will try to enter Congress every day." Reuters has more.

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