The Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador passed in its current form in 2008, in addition to the three existing functions of the State (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) added two new ones in the State:
1) Transparency and Social Control Function, and;
2) Electoral Function.
The Transparency and Social Control function should promote the control of entities and organizations of the public sector, and individuals and companies of the private sector that provide services or develop activities of public interest, and is made up by the following institutions: Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control, the Ombudsman’s Office, the Office of the Comptroller General of the State and the Superintendencies. (Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, Arts. 204 and 205).
Among the attributions of the CPCCS, Article 208, number 11 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador sets the appointment of the following authorities:
- Public Defender;
- Attorney General;
- General Comptroller;
- National Electoral Council Members;
- Electoral Contentious Court Members, and;
- Judicial Council Members.
In addition, the 2008 Constitution, by means of a transitory disposition, determined that the CPCCS shall organize the contests for the appointment of the judges that formed up the Constitutional Court.
The President of the Republic called a popular and constitutional Referendum, which was held on February 4, 2018. The third question of the consultation, (approved by a large majority of votes), aimed at amending the Constitution in order to restructure the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control (CPCCS), to terminate the constitutional period of the at-that-time-being members and that the Transitory Council would evaluate the authorities that by law had been appointed by the terminated CPCCS, and included the capacity to dismiss them.
The reforms include the process to elect the CPCCS representatives:
- The members of the Council will be elected by popular vote, every four years, coinciding with the sectional elections (mayors and prefects).
- Candidates may not belong to any political party or movement, at least during the latest five years and must be “persons with a background in social organizations, in citizen participation, in the fight against corruption or with recognized reputation that evidences their civic commitment and defense of the general interest.” (Annex 3, Popular Consultation)
- The members of the CPCCS will have jurisdiction of National Court and may be subject to impeachment.
- The members of the Transitional Council will not be able to apply to be a part of the CPCCS that will be elected in 2019.
In compliance with the results of the third question of the popular Referendum, the National Assembly appointed the members of the Transitory Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control, hereinafter “CPCCS-T”, who are invested with their legal powers and also with the extraordinary ones granted by the Referendum (question and annex 3), they began the process of evaluating the authorities designated by the dismissed CPCCS.
Annex 3 establishes that the “CPCCS-T” will assume all the faculties, duties and attributions that the Constitution and the laws grant to the CPCCS, and will also evaluate the performance of the authorities designated by the ceased Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control, which are the authorities that article 208, number 11 of the Constitution order to appoint.