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Ecuador: Lasso Update
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Darwin Pereira, second Vice President of the National Assembly, pointed out that the Legislative Administration Council (CAL) will meet on March 19 or 20 to qualify the request for impeachment against President Guillermo Lasso. On the 22nd there will be an extraordinary session of the Pachakutik Political Council.

Pereira is an assemblyman for Pachakutik (PK) and one of the seven legislators that make up the CAL, who did not sign the impeachment request because it is up to them to review the document.

"It was always said that we would support impeachment, that version has not changed. The Pachakutik movement is calling for a Political Council for next week, where we will re-evaluate the present impeachment between assembly members and the bases of the movement," Pereira said.

There, a "more firm" decision will be made on this issue. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22, at 09:00, at the PK headquarters. Among those summoned are Leonidaz Iza and Salvador Quishpe, among others.

Trial procedure in the Assembly
On the night of March 17, the CAL knew about the order but did not make a decision. The legislative body expects the Legislative Technical Unit (UTL) to issue a report on compliance with requirements. The Unit reviews that the order has the signatures, that it does not violate the Constitution, it is a verification of formalities and the report is not binding, according to the assemblyman.

The UTL determines whether the impeachment order document is complete or not. The CAL met on the 17th at 19:45. Tonight marks the 24 hour deadline for the report to be issued.

Then, the president of the Assembly, Virgilio Saquicela, has 24 hours to convene the CAL. "We would have to meet tomorrow (March 19) or no later than Monday first thing in the morning. It depends a lot on the time the report arrives," Pereira explained.

With the report in hand, the CAL will review the request for impeachment in its form and, if necessary, can return the document for completion. It will then be sent to the Constitutional Court (CC) to issue its admissibility opinion.

Projections on the Court's decision
Pereira indicated that there is already a jurisprudential background on the performance of the Constitutional Court when he issued his opinion on the trial for former Vice President Jorge Glas. "The CC said that they (the judges) only review two things: the fulfillment of signatures, and that the causality invoked is constitutional and is singled," he said.

For the legislator, the cause of the request for trial against Lasso, paragraph 2 of article 129 of the Constitution, is singled out. This cause determines the dismissal for the crimes of concussion, bribery, embezzlement or illicit enrichment.

"If we stick to what the CC said on that occasion, it should give the green light to the impeachment trial," he said.

Political analyst Alfredo Espinoza hopes that the work of the CC will be "strictly attached to law" and to what the Constitution dictates. "Here there is no possibility of any speculation or any type of threats that come from legislators or actors, who seek to bring this to a conflict on the street," he said.

Iza has already said that his organization will hold sit-ins in the CC to demand that it give way to impeachment. Espinoza sees that action as a strategy of pressure on the magistrates, in front of an Assembly "with low credibility" that does not have the ability to put "people on the streets."

In that sense, he believes that with the decision taken by the CC, the action of that body, that of the Executive and even that of the security forces will be measured in the face of possible "violent replicas."

In the document of the request for trial, "there is a lack of credibility, a lack of professionalism and an absolute lack of knowledge of the norm. It has been tried to fit some articles with a funnel, in a spurious way, in what the Constitution determines to prosecute the President. That's not the way," Espinoza analyzed.

"What starts badly, ends badly," said the analyst regarding the errors observed in the presentation of the impeachment request.

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Reminder of the headline featured in my previous post:

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QUITO, March 15 (Reuters) - Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso and his family members do not appear in declassified documents released by the country's companies regulator, the agency said on Wednesday, referring to files which opposition lawmakers had sought to shore up a possible impeachment bid.
Legislators voted on Tuesday to declassify the files, after earlier this month backing a report accusing Lasso of connections to possible crimes against state security and public administration.

Sincere condolences to those affected by yesterday's earthquake in Peru & Ecuador.

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Todor Kostov's avatar
@jennymanydots Another excellent update. Thanks, Jen.
Jennifer's avatar
@kostofff Thank you, Todor. Sounds like more to come on Wednesday. It seems like they should be focussing more on earthquake recovery than baseless charges at the moment, time will tell.
Porchester 🔺's avatar
Looking forward to further updates, this Ecuador situation is so bizarre, but that's Latin American politics for you!

Do you have a view on how things will go? Ecuador sovereign bonds are essentially pricing a new Correista government and a default.
Jennifer's avatar

Thank you Porchester, I about to post the BN Americas interview with Alberto Acosta, political editor at magazine Análisis Semanal and analyst at its owner Grupo Spurrier, about the challenges that mining operators will have to address in 2023 and during the remainder of President Guillermo Lasso's government. (link below)

From what I have heard through contacts in the mining industry, it does seem like Correa would be a likely replacement for Lasso, and that would not be cause for concern as he is openly favourable to mining.

Either way, it doesn't appear to be a terrible outcome for investors - hopefully that will be the case!



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