The National Assembly of Ecuador approved this Saturday with 104 votes in favor the report in which it is recommended to start a political trial against President Guillermo Lasso. In reality, only 70 votes were needed. In this way, the political groups begin to measure whether or not they will have the support of the legislature in the face of a possible censorship and dismissal of the President of the Republic for the alleged crime of attacking the security of the State and the public administration.
In a heated session that lasted six hours, the legislators presented their reasons for prosecuting the president. It started from the report presented by a legislative commission that investigated the alleged links of the president’s brother-in-law, Danilo Carrera, and his close friend Rubén Cherres, with drug trafficking and a network of corruption that was woven through bribery for contracts in strategic public companies such as the state oil company, telecommunications and electricity. The creators of the report accuse Lasso of having promoted the installation of this corruption structure through regulatory changes, of having known about the alleged illegal acts and not having denounced them. In the judicial field, the Prosecutor’s Office has also opened an investigation into this case.
But the report that was debated is not binding, nor does it have legal value. The procedure that follows is that an assembly member, with the signature of 46 other legislators, must submit the impeachment request in writing to the president of the Assembly, in which he must attach the formulation of charges and evidence. From that moment on, the impeachment process against Lasso officially begins. The Legislative Administration Council will verify that the requirements are met to refer the case to the Constitutional Court. This body is responsible for reviewing whether the types of violations considered as grounds for impeachment are included in the application. If the Constitutional Court does not approve it, the process is archived, but if it admits it, it will go back to the Assembly to start the procedure. There, 92 favorable votes will be required for his dismissal.
The Minister of Government, Henry Cucalón, has come out to give the position of the Executive. He denounces that, basically, the report “is an arrangement of patches and rectifications in which they have left out characters who should be investigated,” he said, referring to the fact that the approved document mentions events in which members of Correísmo participated and that their names do not appear in the report, furthermore, the document cites information published on Twitter by a digital medium that was later denied by its author and apologized for the lack of rigor in the verification process.
“Attempting perversely to fabricate a fable to try to set up a political trial on the fly against the President of the Republic, is not an act of control but of evident destabilization,” added Cucalón in a video shared on social networks. He did not communicate if the president evaluates the options that the Constitution grants him, such as decreeing the cross death, which is the dissolution of the Assembly, a decision that also requires the approval of the Constitutional Court.
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