The call was made by the head of the unicameral National Assembly, Virgilio Saquicela, after the body’s resolution to put the case on trial taken on Tuesday, with the support of 88 deputies.
The Legislature, in which the opposition is a majority but is dispersed, requires 92 votes (two thirds) to remove the ruler either for crimes against State security, related to acts of corruption and for genocide and disappearance of people.
Why are they promoting the impeachment of Guillermo Lasso?
Lasso, a 67-year-old former right-wing banker, is accused of a alleged embezzlement in the management of the state shipping company Flota Petrolera Ecuatoriana (Flopec) through contracts entered into between 2018 and 2020.
The opposition attributes the president, who took office in 2021, for not having ordered in his administration the culmination of an agreement between Flopec and the international group Amazonas Tanker, which left losses of more than six million dollars to the Ecuadorian company.
Saquicela ordered the general secretariat of Congress to summon the parliamentarians to the impeachment session that will take place around 10:00 am local time (15:00 GMT) on Tuesday.
The vote to decide whether or not to remove Lasso could take several days. In case of being dismissed, he will be replaced by Vice President Alfredo Borrero. Both were chosen in binomial.
Political crisis in Ecuador
Ecuador plunged back into a political crisis in March, when the opposition raised the political trial against the head of state, which was endorsed by the Constitutional Court.
The Magna Carta also authorizes the ruler to dissolve Congress, once only and in the first three years of his administration, and to call early general elections to complete the constitutional period of four years, an option that Lasso has before being removed from office. .
The Minister of Government, Henry Cucalón, said on Wednesday that Lasso will appear before Congress when he is called. It is the second attempt by the Assembly to remove him from office in less than a year. In the first he did not gather enough votes.
“He is going to go to the National Assembly to defend his position and demonstrate the truth,” said the official, emphasizing that “he has not committed any embezzlement.”
The opposition in Parliament is led by the left-wing movement Revolución Ciudadana, led by former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017), who has lived in Belgium since he left power.
Correísmo is the main current in Congress, with close to 50 seats, while the official party Creating Opportunities (CREO) has barely a dozen and has 25 with its allies.