Quito, Jun 24 (EFE).- Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso will face this weekend a request to be removed in parliament after 12 days of protests against the high cost of living and his government’s economic policies, which has left five deaths and at least 200 wounded.
Lasso has denounced an attempted coup against him due to the activation of the presidential impeachment procedure, promoted by an opposition sector loyal to former President Rafael Correa. It was also supported by indigenous leader Leonidas Iza, the main promoter of the protests.
The request for presidential dismissal was presented under the cause of “serious political crisis and internal commotion” and the regulation states that it must be debated in less than 24 hours, in a session where the head of state is summoned to make a defense statement.
After the debate, the assembly has up to 72 hours to decide whether to dismiss the president, in a vote where two thirds of the chamber is needed, equivalent to 92 of the 137 seats. This would be complex after parties such as the Democratic Left and the Christian Social Party said they would vote against.
However, if the motion is successful, the vice president would assume the presidency and the National Electoral Council, within seven days of publishing the resolution, would call early legislative and presidential elections for the same date.
In a message to the nation broadcast on television and social media, the president “called on the international community to warn of this attempt to destabilize democracy in Ecuador” and directly accused Iza of seeking “the overthrow of the government.”
“He never wanted to solve an agenda for the benefit of the indigenous peoples and nationalities. The only thing he wanted was to deceive his bases and usurp the legally constituted government,” said Lasso, who from the beginning offered to sit down and talk with the promoters of the protests.
The president said this when Iza refused calls for a dialogue after the government allowed the indigenous movement to establish a “popular assembly” in the Quito House of Culture, and when he saw he was close to the impeachment request. EFE