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Lasso on the brink

Ecuadorian president, Guillermo Lasso, during a press conference

Ecuadorian president, Guillermo Lasso, during a press conference

Pool / Latin America News Agency via Reuters Connect

Lawmakers in Ecuador’s opposition-controlled National Assembly voted Tuesday to open an impeachment trial against President Guillermo Lasso, and a political crisis may not be far behind. His trial, on embezzlement charges, is scheduled to begin on May 20.

Lasso says the allegations are politically motivated and points out that the effort is spearheaded by 88 opposition lawmakers despite the legislative oversight commission’s recommendation not to impeach.

A two-thirds majority – 92 members – is needed to impeach the president, but 21 lawmakers were absent from the vote to open proceedings, and their future intentions are unclear. If Lasso decides the opposition has the votes to convict, the constitution allows him to dissolve the assembly and call new elections within six months. That’s a move that might plunge a country already wracked by drugs-related gang violence into deep political turmoil.


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