[JURIST] Unofficial results of Constituent Assembly elections in Ecuador [JURIST news archive] on Sunday give the ruling coalition led by President Rafael Correa [official website, in Spanish; personal website] a landslide victory. Though Correa claimed an immediate victory, opposition leader Gilmar Gutierrez said he will refuse to accept a leftist victory until the Supreme Electoral Tribunal [official website, in Spanish] certifies the results in a few weeks. Initial results give Correa's party between 70 and 79 assembly seats, well above the required 66-seat majority.
The newly elected assembly will be tasked with creating a new constitution. Last April, Correa proposed convening a constitutional assembly after a referendum overwhelmingly supported [JURIST report] his call to rewrite the country's current constitution [text, in Spanish]. The assembly will likely be charged with instituting reforms to restrain powerful political parties [JURIST report], increase government accountability, and hold regional, rather than national, elections. Critics fear that Correa will use the assembly to expand presidential power. In April, Congress dismissed the prior constitutional tribunal judges after they ordered the reinstatement of 50 lawmakers [JURIST report] who were dismissed [JURIST report] in February by the country's electoral tribunal for allegedly interfering in the referendum. AFP has more.