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Impeachment of the President of Ecuador: Are there the votes to remove Guillermo Lasso and what is he accused of?

The fate of the president Ecuador, William Lassois in the hands of the 137 congressmen of the National Assembly, after this Wednesday night the Constitutional Court announced that it gave the green light for him to be subjected to impeachment for the alleged crime of embezzlement.

According to a statement from the Constitutional Court, the accusation for embezzlement was admitted with six votes in favor and three against.

LOOK: Why Guillermo Lasso is (again) on the brink of impeachment and removal in Ecuador

The other accusation raised by the National Assembly for the alleged crime of concussion was rejected by the court.

Through a statement, the government accepted the ruling of the Constitutional Court, but reiterated that considers that impeachment has no legal basis.

Guillermo Lasso gestures during his inauguration in the National Assembly, on May 24, 2021. (Photo by the National Assembly of Ecuador / AFP). (-/)

“Although we do not agree with the decision of the Constitutional Court, we respect the opinion of admissibility on the political trial”assured the General Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency.

“The inconsistencies in the arguments of this trial will not end our vision of serving each one of you Ecuadorians,” added.

The National Assembly brought impeachment against William Lasso after the disclosure of a report by the digital media La Posta. The report revealed an alleged corruption plot for the assignment of public positions in state companies set up by Danilo Carrerawho is the brother-in-law of the president of Ecuador and who does not hold or have held government positions.

In this case it is also involved Hernan Luqueformer delegate of the president Lasso on the board of the Coordinating Company of Public Companies (EMCO); and the businessman Rubén Cherres, very close to Career and who is being investigated by the prosecution for drug trafficking.

Lassowhose government should end in 2025, has always denied the accusations and has maintained that the National Assembly tries to “destabilize” the Executive.

In June of last year, William Lasso survived an impeachment attempt amid street protests. He tried to get him out with a figure different from that of the impeachment. In the end, Congress won 80 of the 92 votes needed to remove him.

Now, after the ruling of the Constitutional court, the National Assembly will send the file to the Political Supervision and Control Commission, which must prepare a report to be discussed by the plenary session of Parliament. Before the final vote, the president must present evidence in his defense.

But another option that the president has is to resort to the constitutional figure of the cross deathwhich is nothing other than the closure of the National Assembly, the resignation of the president and the call for general elections within six months.

Regardless of what you decide Lasso in the short term, the Ecuadorian political scientist Julio Echeverria considers that, taking into account the first reactions, the president is willing to go to the National Assembly to submit to impeachment.

He also holds that the National Assembly has 92 votes to remove him, “but it is not a fully consolidated number. That is, to the extent that the president manages to argue convincingly in the impeachment trial and demonstrate his non-responsibility in the accusation of peculationthat majority could decrease and he would get away with it,” he said. echeverria in dialogue with El Comercio.

The political analyst Sebastian Mantilladirector of the Latin American Center for Political Studies (CELAEP), also told Trade that there are votes to remove the president. “Last year Lasso he was saved from dismissal by the votes of the Social Cristinano Party, which has 16 assembly members. Now they have expressed their willingness to remove him. That is why the calculations indicate that 92 votes could be exceeded.

Regarding the possibility of closure of Congress and the resignation of Lassothe political scientist Julio Echeverria considers it difficult could generate immediate reactions both in the same National Assemblywhich would not accept it, as in the streets, especially the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), which has stated that it would not abide by the cross death and that they would go out to protest.

“It is a chaotic scenario that does not interest the country or the government, because it would face a very broad reaction from the citizenry, since there is a lot of discontent”says Echeverria.

Indigenous leader Leonidas Iza opposes the Death Cross.  (Rodrigo BUENDIA / AFP).

Indigenous leader Leonidas Iza opposes the Death Cross. (Rodrigo BUENDIA / AFP). (RODRIGO BUENDIA /)

But for the political analyst Sebastian Mantillathe cross death Yes, it would be a solution that would make it possible to settle the strong opposition that the Government has had in the National Assembly. “Lasso has not resorted before to the cross death because he knows that if there is a new election in six months he would not be elected, since he has lost a lot of popular support, basically due to his mismanagement of the Government”, he maintains.

“But I think it is the best alternative for the country, it would give it calm, tranquility. Lasso in six months it could eventually, through executive decrees, promote certain norms that it thinks are necessary to put the economy on track.”Add.

Mantilla also points out that precipitating the cross death It is the option pursued by the opposition, especially correísmo, since their main objective is to call early elections because they think they could again achieve a majority in the National Assembly and that their candidate could be elected president.

If finally the National Assembly removes William Lassowho should assume power is his vice president alfredo borrero to complete the mandate until 2025. What would await the country in these two years?

The political scientist Julio Echeverria considers that if Borrero assumes Ecuador will enter into a situation of expectation, the country will be pacified to some extent.

“There will be expectations about how the vice president will redirect some of Lasso’s policy lines. He must modify that extremely orthodox line that this government has promoted, the fiscal discipline that has greatly reduced social attention and that is at the base of the generalized discontent. Surely there will be a very significant change of direction to give way to the generalized expectations that exist in the population and in the social and political actors, it would be a truce that would allow this Government to complete his mandate ”remarks Echeverría.

The political analyst Sebastian Mantilla remember that Ecuador It has had cases in which vice presidents have assumed power and have not mismanaged.

“If the vice president surrounds himself with good cadres and these are the product of a coalition where there are members of the Social Christian Party, it may be that there is stability in the country so that he can finish his term normally,” he says.

Source: Elcomercio

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