The government of Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso denounced the assembly’s effort to “destabilize”
A group of Ecuadorian opposition lawmakers have filed a formal impeachment request against President Guillermo Lasso, alleging extortion and embezzlement of funds from state-owned companies. A previous effort to impeach the Tory politician in June failed to get the required vote after the leader broke off negotiations with indigenous protesters.
The petition, which was presented on Thursday, was signed by 59 members of the Assembly of the Union for Hope (UNES), social Christian parties and the democratic left.
“The president is politically responsible for the crimes of extortion and embezzlementsaid lawmaker Viviana Veloz of former President Rafael Correa’s UNES party during the National Assembly session. “In this accusation it will be shown how President Guillermo Lasso Mendoza participated in a structure of corruption to obtain benefits for himself and for others.”
If the impeachment process reaches the final stage, 92 of the 137 Assembly lawmakers must sign off for it to pass, and the judiciary must also establish “legal responsibility” to remove Lasso. Veloz said she was confident in the legislative support because of the existence of “copious” evidence to back up the claims.
Lasso’s government dismissed the impeachment effort as a “destabilizationattempt of the Assembly. “This request completely lacks the political and legal elements that would support a lawsuit against the president.“, said the administration.
Earlier this week, the legislature declassified a series of documents related to investigations into corruption in state-owned companies, seeking to establish its case for impeachment of Lasso, although the names of the president and his family do not appear in the documents. documents.
The Assembly approved a report earlier this month accusing Lasso of awarding privileged positions to public companies and favorable contracts in exchange for bribes and suggesting that he may be involved in crimes against the state security and public administration. Lasso’s office dismissed the report as “an attack on reason“, arguing that he lacked”legal and binding validity.”
Opposition lawmakers continued their impeachment efforts despite finding no link between Lasso and an alleged corruption scheme involving the Albanian mafia, the Ecuadorian electricity utility, and the brother-in-law of Lasso, Danilo Carrero Drouet, during a two-month investigation. earlier this year.
Lasso, a former banker, won a surprise victory in the 2021 presidential election over his leftist rival Andrez Arauz, a former Correa protege who ran on a promise to halt government-mandated austerity programs IMF and rolling back the neoliberal reforms of Correa Lenin Moreno’s hand-picked successor. While Moreno had started his presidency as a leftist following in his mentor’s footsteps, his swing to the right caused his popularity to drop into the single digits and he chose not to run for re-election.
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