Lasso applies “cross death” and brings forward general elections in Ecuador
Published 17/05/2023 16:45 | Edited 5/17/2023 6:52 PM
The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, announced this Wednesday (17) the activation of the “cross death”, a mechanism foreseen in the Constitution that allows him to dissolve the National Assembly and bring forward presidential and legislative elections.
By means of decree 741, the president presents the measure one day after the start of the impeachment process against him for the crime of embezzlement in the unicameral Parliament.
“I have to respond to the political crisis that imprisons Ecuador”, said the ruler in a message broadcast this morning on national television.
The “cross death” is a tool foreseen in the magna charter that allows the head of state to dissolve Congress, call general elections and govern by decree for up to six months, when the new parliament and newly elected president take office.
Lasso has already announced the first of these economic decrees and asked the National Electoral Council (CNE) to immediately call elections to elect new officials.
“This is a democratic action, because it gives back to Ecuadorians the power to decide their future”, emphasized the Chief Executive.
There are doubts about this decision, which some call illegal, because it must be justified by one of the reasons provided for by law: if the National Assembly assumes functions, if the Legislature obstructs the National Development Plan, or due to a serious political and internal commotion.
According to Lasso, at this moment it is possible to activate the mechanism based on the third of these reasons, because it is not possible to advance in the current conditions and the country needs a “new political pact”.
Although the bench of the Citizen Revolution (RC) movement has declared itself in favor of the cross death as a “democratic way out” for the country’s crisis, the president of the Assembly, Virgilio Saquicela, reiterated last Sunday that there would be no reason to invoke this government tool.
Deputy Paola Cabezas, from RC, pointed out in statements to the channel Teleamazon that, while not opposing this possibility, it would be cowardly and unethical for Lasso to resort to cross-death shortly before his possible dismissal.
The parliamentary headquarters is surrounded by soldiers to prevent the entry of the deputies, who this morning had scheduled a session to continue the debate on the impeachment.
So far, the Constitutional Court has not ruled on the legality of the decree, which allows Lasso to remain in power for at least six months and govern that time through executive measures.
A statement from the National Electoral Council is expected in the next few hours on the calendar of the elections, which will allow Ecuador to have a new president next November.
Source: Latin press