Guillermo Lasso saves a vote on his impeachment as president of Ecuador | International

The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, this Tuesday during an appearance.
The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, this Tuesday during an appearance.BOLIVAR PARRA (AFP)

One less problem for the president of Ecuador in the midst of one of the most complex weeks of his government. Guillermo Lasso saved this Tuesday night a vote in the Assembly on his dismissal due to “political crisis and internal commotion”, alleged by the bench of legislators of Union for Hope when presenting the motion. After three days of phlegmatic debate, with 109 interventions between assembly members and third party questioners, the Plenary called for a vote. The initiative to behead the Government garnered 80 votes in favor of the 92 it required to prosper. Lasso will remain in office thanks to the support of his supporters and part of the opposition from the Social Christian Party and the Democratic Left. There were also nine abstentions in a vote that was repeated twice between rectifications and reconsiderations.

The Ecuadorian Head of State, who has been in office for a year, only guaranteed the votes of the ruling party, one of the minority with 27 seats. Against him, the impeachment proposal had 46 supports from UNES, the opposition bloc formed by those still loyal to former President Rafael Correa who launched the motion of censure at a time of greatest national instability after two weeks of intense demonstrations by the organizations natives. Pachakutik, the political arm of these communities, joined the strategy to force Lasso out of the Carondelet Palace with a majority of their affirmative votes, including that of the president of the Assembly who acts as mediator in the dialogue between the Government and protest leaders.

Neither the Government nor its interlocutors were certain which side the Assembly would lean towards in the all or nothing against the president. None of the parties had enough votes and the other two opposition political tents had assured that they would prioritize democratic stability and the entity of the institutions before their dissatisfaction with the twelve months of administration of the conservative politician.

With the impeachment filed, Ecuador is still facing a serious social crisis without an immediate solution. The social outbreak supported by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie) has boycotted the country’s productive activity and shocked its population due to the virulence of the demonstrations in Quito and on its access roads. Merchandise and provisions cannot reach the coastal provinces from the Andean zone, where the roadblocks were installed.

On the same day that it was to be decided whether or not President Lasso would have more days as head of state, the Government broke off the dialogue with Conaie, accusing its leader, Leonidas Iza, of manipulating his bases for private political purposes. The negotiation to put an end to the demonstrations, fueled by the national economic straits and the increase in the cost of living, now depends on a damaged trust on both sides and on a president who has just emerged victorious from the most forceful political attack in his first year of mandate.

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