Lasso Dissolves General Assembly To Avoid Impeachment



MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“




Sputnik International


MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“

Sputnik International


MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“

ecuador, lasso dissolves legislature, rules by decree, ecuador elections, special election,

ecuador, lasso dissolves legislature, rules by decree, ecuador elections, special election,

The decree to dissolve the country’s National Assembly comes one day into its impeachment trial of President Guillermo Lasso.

Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the National Assembly on Wednesday by decree, one day after it started impeachment trials that appeared to be on track to remove him from office.

The decree was announced at 7 am on Wednesday. Lasso applied Article 148 of the Ecuadorian Constitution to institute a tool known as “cross death,” which dissolves the country’s parliament and requires new elections for both the General Assembly and the President to be held within 90 days.

In the meantime, and until the new parliament and possibly a new president are installed, Guillermo will rule by decree for a period of up to six months. The only check on his power during this time will be the Constitutional Court, though he is supposed to be limited to economic decrees.

The winners of the election will serve until the end of the current presidential and legislative term ends in May 2025.

The General Assembly looked poised to impeach Guillermo on corruption and misappropriation of public fund charges. On Sunday the Assembly held votes to choose the authorities of the Assembly and demonstrated the unity of the opposition alliance, a sign that it had enough votes to impeach Lasso. Ninety-two votes would have been needed to impeach him. During the Sunday session, every motion received between 94 and 100 votes, a sign that they had enough votes to remove Lasso.

On Tuesday, Lasso appeared in front of the Assembly to defend himself as the impeachment trial began.

“You are anti-legislators,” he said in a speech on the floor of the National Assembly. “I accuse you of trying not only to take down the credibility of the presidency, but that of democracy.”

The vote on his impeachment and censure was expected to go forward this weekend, but the decree dissolving the Assembly has ended those proceedings. Lasso previously threatened to dissolve the Assembly if it went forward with the impeachment; that it still went forward signals that the opposition feels confident that they will perform well in the cross-death elections.

FILE - Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso attends his welcoming ceremony at the National Palace in Mexico City, Nov. 24, 2022. Lasso will use a referendum on Feb. 5, 2023 to measure support for his government on security issues. - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.05.2023

Ecuador Votes to Impeach Western-Backed President on Corruption Charges

The accusations against Lasso stem from a contract between the state-owned Ecuadorian Oil Fleet (FLOPEC) and the privately owned Amazonas Tanker Pool company. Lasso noted in his defense that the contract was signed in 2018, three years before he took office. He also pointed to a non-binding report for a government oversight committee that found him guilty of no wrongdoing.

Lasso further claimed that he made adjustments to the contract at the recommendation of the Comptroller General’s Office, which he says made the contract more profitable for Ecuador.

But the opposition claims that he turned a blind eye to the alleged embezzlement due to the contract and continued it while knowing the contracts “represented a loss for the state.”

The opposition alliance included the Union of Hope (UNES) party, which is still controlled by former President Rafael Correa, the Christian Social Party (PCS); the indigenous party Pachakutik; and the social-democratic party Democratic Left (ID). Eight independent congresspeople also joined with the opposition.

Last year, the General Assembly impeached the President of the Assembly, Guadalupe Llori, but only achieved 81 votes, which would not have been enough to impeach Lasso. Llori was replaced by Viviana Veloz, who put forth the motion to impeach on Tuesday.

Some members of the General Assembly said they will not accept the decree, but the military has backed Lasso.

In a video statement, the commander of Ecuador’s armed forces, Nelson Proano, said that the decree was constitutional. According to multiple reports, they have closed down the General Assembly building and are not allowing anyone, including the former lawmakers, inside.

Article 148 allows the president to dissolve the General Assembly for two reasons: If the Assembly repeatedly and unjustifiably obstructs the execution of the National Development Plan, or due to serious political critics and internal commotion.

Ecuador has been dealing with economic issues and high crime for several years. Austerity measures implemented as part of a deal with the International Monetary Fund failed to reverse the country’s economic woes and caused deadly unrest under former president Lenin Moreno.

Soldiers stand guard outside the Guayas 1 prison in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on November 13, 2021, after a riot occurred.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.06.2022

Ecuador’s President Lifts State of Emergency Introduced Amid Mass Protests

Under Correa’s administration, Ecuador became one of the safest countries in South America, with crime falling during his last eight years in office, dropping to a level not seen since he left office. Crime has risen every year since then, and the country saw a record-high murder rate in 2022, with 25.5 homicides per 100,000 residents. The South American country is on track to break the record again in 2023.

Lasso has blamed drug cartels for the increase in crime and violence. He declared states of emergency in some provinces twice due to the violence – once in October 2021 and again in April 2022.

Correa has called the decree to dissolve the National Assembly “illegal,” but said in a tweet that it was an opportunity to “recover the homeland” from Lasso.

“What Lasso has done is illegal. Obviously, there is no ‘internal commotion.’ He just couldn’t buy enough assemblymen to save himself,” a translated version of the tweet reads. “In any case, it is a GREAT opportunity to get rid of Lasso, his Government and his rented assembly members, and recover the Homeland.”

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