The clock is ticking

ECUADOR - In Brief 23 Sep 2021 by Magdalena Barreiro

Guillermo Lasso will personally present the labor and tax reforms together with other bills to the assembly on Friday, September 24, after socializing their main contents tonight. The government has decided to send these bills together as one economically urgent law. In this fashion, the Assembly has 30 days to approve them or reject them.The president also announced that in the instance the Assembly does not approve these urgently necessary reforms, the government will consult the people directly through a referendum. The labor reform is not part of the IMF agreement, but the tax reform is. The contents of such a referendum are not known yet, nor is the timing, but it has been announced it would take place before the end of the year. If the referendum does not address constitutional reforms, it would not need the be pre-approved by the Assembly, but the questions still need to be approved by the Constitutional Court. The Assembly so far has objected to the return of Ecuador to ICSID, rejected the 2021 budget, and did not approve the candidates for the Monetary and Financial Boards sent by President Lasso. Thus, the probability that legislators do not approve the above-mentioned bills is high. The government should move quickly and carefully with the intended referendum, before the opposition gains terrain over the evident lack of political structure from CREO.

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