The president and vice president are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year term.
The executive branch includes 28 ministries. Provincial governors and councilors, like mayors and aldermen and parish boards, are directly elected. Congress meets throughout the year except for recess in July and December. There are 20 seven-member congressional committees.
The National Congress (Spanish: Congreso Nacional) was the unicameral legislative branch of the government of Ecuador prior to November 2007.
Under the 1998 Constitution, Congress met in Quito and was made up of 100 deputies (diputados). Each of the country’s 22 provinces returned a minimum of two deputies plus one additional seat for every 200,000 inhabitants.
It was dissolved on 29 November 2007 by the Ecuadorian Constituent Assembly, due to the alleged high level of corruption of the chamber’s members, and replaced by the National Assembly of Ecuador under the 2008 Constitution.
According to Article 119 of the 2008 Constitution of Ecuador, candidates to the National Assembly must meet the following requirements:
- Be an Ecuadorian national
- Be at least 18 years of age at the time of registering for one’s candidacy
- Be in possession of political rights
New justices of the Supreme Court are elected by the sitting members of the court. A bare majority of Congress, acting in a special session called by former President Lucio Gutiérrez in December 2004, ousted 27 of the 31 justices and replaced them with new members chosen by Congress, notwithstanding the lack of any provisions permitting impeachment of Supreme Court justices by Congress and the specific provisions giving the Court the power to select new members. Earlier, in November 2004, Congress replaced the majority of judges on the country’s Electoral Court and Constitutional Court by a similar process.
After the adoption of a new Constitution in 2008, the judicial branch of the country was completely renewed. Now it has a cooperative leadership having a judicial and an administrative head.
First, there is the National Court of Justice which seats 21 judges elected for a period of 9 years. They are elected by the Judiciary Council based on a merits contest held by that office. They are the final stage of any judicial process serving as a Court of Cassation and create binding precedent based on Triple Reiterative Rulings from the Chambers of the Court. The President of the Court is elected amongst the members of the Court for a Period of 3 years where he will represent the Judicial Branch before the State.
Second, there is the administrative branch of the Judicial Power which consists of The Judiciary Council. The Council is formed by 9 Vocals who are elected by the Branch of Transparency and Social Control, which is formed by the Control Authorities of the State. The Vocals are elected also by a merits contest and it shall be formed by sic experts in law and 3 experts in management, economics and other related areas.
However, after the National Referendum that took place on the 5th of May in 2011, the proposition impulsed by the government of Mr. Correa won and now the Judiciary Council changed its formation by making a constitutional amendment. Currently, a Tri-Party Commission is serving as a Transitional Council with delegates from the Legislative, Executive and Transparency Branch, to reform the broken judicial system of the Country.
Finally, there exists a Constitutional Court. However, it does not exercise legal revision but rather constitutional control of situations where constitutional rights are violated. The Constitutional Court is the sole body in the State to interpret what the Constitution says.