President of Ecuador threatens to dissolve Parliament if the impeachment trial against him advances

The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, has threatened to dissolve the National Assembly and call early elections if the impeachment proceeds that opposition groups promote against him, since he considers that the accusations leveled against him are unfounded and have only partisan purposes.

“Nobody has done more to fight corruption,” Lasso stressed in an interview with the Financial Times. The “most probable” hypothesis according to the current majorities is that he wants to avoid at all costs — “because it is not correct,” the president has asserted — being removed from office.

Lasso plans to appear before the legislature to defend himself against the accusations and has confirmed that he would be willing to invoke the constitutional clause known as ‘cross death’ by virtue of which a president can dissolve the Assembly if, for example, there is a “serious political crisis”.

This path would imply calling not only parliamentary elections, but also presidential ones. In this case, Lasso has confirmed that he would be a candidate again: “I have an obligation to my voters.”

The impeachment trial against Lasso —if successful, would mean the dismissal of the Ecuadorian president— is based on a accusation for money laundering derived from an agreement signed by the public company Flopec and that, according to the Comptroller’s Office, caused the country a loss of about 6.1 million dollars. The contract in question is still in force, although it was signed in 2020, during the government of Lenin Moreno.