Lasso doesn't rule out early elections in Ecuador

Bnamericas Published: Friday, March 10, 2023
Lasso doesn't rule out early elections in Ecuador

Ecuadoran President Guillermo Lasso does not rule out resorting to the "cross death" mechanism that would allow him to dissolve the national assembly to hold early presidential and legislative elections.

"Cross death is something that is part of the constitution... it is something that I have never ruled out," said Lasso during a meeting with reporters from foreign media.

Lasso added that he has not gone down this road yet to avoid creating additional instability in Ecuador, which would impact the country's reputation abroad.

On Saturday, the assembly approved the report of a legislative commission that investigated alleged cases of corruption and recommended the impeachment of Lasso, for crimes against the public administration by omission. 

The assembly has 137 members and of the 125 present, 104 cast their votes in favor of the report's approval.

The vote is not binding and before an impeachment process can start, at least 46 legislators must make such a request.

Revolución Ciudadana, the opposition party created by former president Rafael Correa, has said it will present a request. At least two parties that voted to approve the report have said they have not yet decided if they will support impeachment proceedings.

Any impeachment request will have to be reviewed by the country's constitutional court, which can accept or reject it.

At his meeting with international media, Lasso said he believes the constitutional court will not accept such a request.

"I have confidence in the constitutional court, which has ruled in favor of the government in some cases, and against it in others."

The president began his four-year term in May 2021 and he has already survived two attempts to remove him from office. The last time was in June when opposition lawmakers fell short 12 of the 92 votes required for removal.

Lasso also said that his government is permanently under attack by different "mafias," including drug traffickers and those who seek to profit from state-owned companies.

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