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Ecuador Court Upholds Decision to Fire 57 Lawmakers

Ecuador's constitutional court has upheld a decision by the electoral tribunal to dismiss more than half of the country's legislature.

The president of the tribunal announced the decision Wednesday. He said the court voted to reject the petition of a former parliamentarian on behalf of 57 ousted legislators seeking to return to their posts.

The electoral court fired the lawmakers in March after they sought to block President Rafael Correa's planned referendum on constitutional reform.

On Tuesday, Ecuador's Congress suspended its session for a week to prevent further violence involving the fired lawmakers. In recent weeks, the lawmakers clashed with police outside of the congressional building in an attempt to re-take their former seats.

Although the electoral court ordered the firings, President Correa has endorsed the move.

Mr. Correa's reforms would lessen the power of Ecuador's political parties. Opposition supporters fear it would increase the president's power.

Ecuador has a troubled political history, with eight presidents serving in the past decade.

Mr. Correa was elected and took over the office from Alfredo Palacio in January.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.