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LatinNews Daily - 30 September 2021

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In brief: Ecuador’s Lasso receives setback over economic reform proposal

* The administrative council (CAL) in Ecuador’s legislative assembly has returned President Guillermo Lasso’s tax and labour reform bill, determining that it is unconstitutional and should not be submitted for a plenary vote. The CAL based its decision on a report by the legislative technical unit (UTL), which yesterday advised the CAL not to allow the bill to proceed as it contains a broad array of proposals – Ecuador’s constitution stipulates that bills must have a single area of focus. The CAL voted to return the bill by five votes to two, with the president of the national assembly, Guadalupe Llori (Pachakutik), among those opposing its passage. Lasso’s press office subsequently released a statement saying that the government will “evaluate the national assembly’s decision and examine better alternatives for action that benefits citizens.” The statement added that “by denying the bill, they have blocked the creation of opportunities for millions of Ecuadoreans who need work.” Prior to the CAL’s verdict, Interior Minister Alexandra Vela had said that the government would consider holding a referendum on the reforms if it is denied a vote in the legislature.