Motion to remove Ecuador’s President Lasso fails to get enough National Assembly votes
Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso survived an impeachment attempt late Tuesday when a motion to remove him from office submitted by the opposition Union for Hope (Unes) of former President Rafael Correa fail to garner enough votes at the National Assembly. The initiative was 12 votes short of its goal.
With two-thirds (or 92 out of 137 assembly members) needed, the final result was 80 votes in favor of removing Lasso, 48 against, and 9 abstentions.
The motion was presented by Unes’ Fernando Cedeño citing a serious political crisis and internal commotion amid protests against the Government led by indigenous and peasant movements, which have already left six people dead, including a military non-commissioned officer, and around 400 injured.
The vote took place after more than 18 hours of debate over three days. Assembly members had to vote up to three times due to procedural inconsistencies.
Lawmakers from Unes and also from Pachakutik (the political arm of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador – Conaie) the main promoter of the protests voted in favor of the motion after 16 days of ongoing protests despite curfews and other extreme measures.
Lasso’s ruling party voted against the impeachment. Its 13 assembly members were supported by the Social Christians and by the Democratic Left. In case of Lasso’s dismissal, early general elections should have been needed.
The President has already announced he would not bow to pressure from Correism lawmakers, but would rather stand up for institutionality and peace.
The Ecuadorian Attorney General’s Office has opened a preliminary investigation for alleged organized crime against those lobbying for Lasso’s dismissal, based on audios available on social media.