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Ecuador's Top Court Reinstates Fired Lawmakers

Ecuador's top court has reinstated at least 50 lawmakers who were fired for their opposition to a referendum on rewriting the constitution.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa condemned Monday's ruling by the Constitutional Court. He described it as a "shameless deal" during an appearance on Ecuadorean television.

Last month, the country's top electoral court fired the lawmakers after they dismissed its top judge in an effort to block the referendum.

On April 15, voters overwhelmingly approved President Correa's call for an assembly to revise the document.

The president says he wants to rewrite the document to undercut the power of Congress, which many Ecuadoreans view as corrupt.

Later this year, voters will select 130 members for the constituent assembly. The assembly would be asked to write a new constitution that would be submitted to another referendum next year.

Mr. Correa wants to increase state control of the economy, particularly in the oil and financial sectors, and end ties with what he calls "international bureaucracy."

Critics accuse him of trying to boost his own power by stripping the authority of Congress.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.