After fleeing impeachment, Lasso says he will not
The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, has promised that he will not be a candidate in the extraordinary elections that should be held in the second half of this year.
In an interview published this Friday (19/05) by the American newspaper The Washington Postthe Ecuadorian representative assured that he does not intend to run again for the presidency, even if the National Electoral Council of Ecuador (CNE) decides that he has that right.
Lasso took advantage of the interview to justify the decree of “crossed death”, signed by him last Wednesday (18/05), with which the National Assembly of Ecuador (unicameral) was dissolved and the CNE was asked to carry out new general elections in the country later this year.
The president of Ecuador said in the interview that he classifies his decree as “an act of generosity towards the country, which has shortened this presidential term with the aim of achieving the common interest of Ecuadorians, and avoiding this embarrassing spectacle of political crisis”.
The “political crisis” to which Lasso refers is the impeachment process he has been facing in the National Assembly since March of this year, which investigated possible crimes of passive corruption and embezzlement committed during his government, based on contracts with the state-owned Frotas Petroleiras Ecuadorianas (Flopec) with the North American company Amazonas Tanker Pool.
The process was initiated on March 29, but the governing group managed to block the procedure for more than 40 days, until, on May 9, the leader of the opposition, Viviana Veloz, from the Citizen Revolution party [o mesmo de ex-presidente Rafael Correa], presented a resolution for it to be resumed with changes in its content. The request was approved with 88 votes, just four less than necessary in a possible final vote, generating a very unfavorable scenario for the representative.
It was then that Lasso decided to call for “crossed death”, a constitutional instrument that allows the president to dissolve the National Assembly in the face of “scenarios of national upheaval and political crisis”.
The decree also obliges the president to immediately request the calling of new presidential and legislative elections. [ou seja, todos os cargos políticos, executivos e legislativos, governistas e opositores, acabam sendo derrubados, por isso se chama “morte cruzada”].
It is worth remembering that this mechanism was created in Ecuador from the 2008 Constitution [vigente até os dias de hoje] and Lasso is the first politician to use it.
This Thursday (18/05), the CNE established August 20 as the preliminary date for legislative elections and the first round of presidential elections, and October 15 for a possible presidential second round, if necessary. The schedule will be the subject of the meeting that the electoral body will hold next week, so that the exact dates are made official.
The president of the CNE, Diana Atamaint, emphasized that this election will be of an extraordinary nature and will not change the regular electoral calendar in Ecuador. This means that politicians elected this year should only serve their current mandate, until May 2025.
Thus, the next regular elections are still scheduled for the first half of 2025, to choose the politicians who will lead the country in the four-year period 2025-2029.