Politics

Ecuador’s Congress declares former President Lasso ‘responsible’ for embezzlement

Quito, Nov 30 (EFE).- Ecuador’s National Assembly on Thursday impeached former President Guillermo Lasso (2021-2023) and declared him responsible for the crime of embezzlement.

This was the final vote of an impeachment process that the then president interrupted six months ago by dissolving the chamber and forcing a call for extraordinary general elections in what is known in Ecuador as the “crossed death” procedure, which also removed him from power.

Once reinstated after the elections, the Assembly proceeded with the impeachment process, despite the fact that Lasso had left office a week earlier.

With 116 votes in favor, one against, and seven abstentions, the Ecuadorian legislature found the charges of embezzlement against the conservative Lasso to be well-founded, a decision that was confirmed in a second vote of reconsideration.

Supporters of former President Rafael Correa and the conservative Social Christian Party pushed for Lasso’s impeachment after an alleged corruption scheme in public companies apparently led by his brother-in-law, businessman Danilo Carrera, and an associate allegedly linked to a drug trafficking mafia came to light.

However, the Constitutional Court removed a charge of extortion related to this case from the indictment, leaving only a charge of embezzlement related to some contracts signed by the national oil fleet that according to the resolution approved by the Assembly “caused damage to the State in favor of third parties”

After the elections, Correismo and the Social Christian Party remained as the two dominant forces in the Assembly, allowing them to resume the impeachment of Lasso.

Deputy Viviana Veloz said that the impeachment document rejects “the actions of former President Lasso in using the figure of the ‘crossed death’ during the impeachment process to avoid his political responsibility and possible censure and dismissal, which represents a harmful precedent for democracy.” EFE

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