Ecuador’s president narrowly escapes dismissal amid protests

Quito, Jun 28 (EFE).- Ecuador’s president narrowly escaped being ousted Tuesday after a motion to remove him from power, proposed by the opposition political coalition Union for Hope, led by former President Rafael Correa, failed.

The motion to dismiss conservative Guillermo Lasso required the backing of two-thirds of parliament, equivalent to 92 of the 137 lawmakers but fell short by 12 votes with the result of the final vote as 80 votes in favor, 48 against and nine abstentions.

The motion was presented by the coalition lawmaker Fernando Cedeno on the grounds of “serious political crisis and internal unrest” in the context of anti-government protests against the cost of living.

The protests, led by the indigenous and peasant movement and now in their 16th day, have already left six people dead and around 400 injured.

The vote took place after more than 18 hours of debate over three days, during which 109 lawmakers spoke.

Coalition lawmakers and those of the indigenous and plurinational movement Pachakutik, the political arm of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), the main driver of the protests, voted in favor of the motion.

Voting against was the ruling party, with a mere 13 lawmakers, and the opposition Social Christian Party and the Democratic Left.

Hours earlier, in a video message during the last session of the debate in parliament, Lasso denounced an attempt by “Correism” to “attack democracy, to take advantage of chaos to destroy institutionalism in Ecuador.”

The leader, who recently completed a year in office after winning the presidential run-off against coalition candidate Andrés Arauz, rejected “the threats, blackmail, persecution and intimidation against those who, through their vote in the National Assembly, are willing to defend institutionality and peace.” EFE


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