Ecuadorian lawmakers file impeachment motion against President Lasso
The Ecuadorian President could face an impeachment motion over accusations of corruption and administrative irregularities.
A group of 58 lawmakers of the Ecuadorian National Assembly, the parliament's lower house, have handed over to National Assembly President a motion to impeach incumbent center-right President Guillermo Lasso, over accusations of corruption and administrative irregularities.
"The impeachment motion is formalized by 58 signatures of members of the National Assembly from various fractions. The motion was handed over to National Assembly President Virgilio Saquicela," the lower house announced on Twitter.
"Once the text of the motion is approved, it will be sent to the Constitutional Court of Ecuador, which will issue a preliminary opinion on its admissibility," it added.
Earlier this month, the National Assembly approved a report of a legislative commission that recommended launching an impeachment process against Lasso due to his suspected involvement in corruption schemes.
The commission's investigation focused on Lasso's alleged involvement in a corruption scheme in state-owned companies, which the prosecutor's office called the Encuentro case, as well as leaked data from a police investigation into drug trafficking. These involve the President's brother-in-law, Danilo Carrera Drouet, and Ecuadorian businessman Ruben Scherres suspected of drug trafficking.
In late June 2022, the Ecuadorian President survived an attempt by the opposition to oust him following countrywide protests where security forces used excessive violence against protesters.
The demonstrations, which were led by the indigenous organization CONAIE, started on June 13 in response to rage over skyrocketing gasoline prices, soaring living expenses, and the socioeconomic policies of Lasso's right-wing government.
The protests ended in July after a deal that includes price discounts for petrol was reached between the Ecuadorian government and the leaders of the Indigenous protests.
Read more: Ecuador to cut fuel prices after weeks of protests
Pandora Papers put Lasso under Investigation
It is noteworthy that in early October 2022, Ecuador's National Assembly agreed to open an investigation into whether Lasso broke the law by keeping assets in tax havens after his name appeared in the Pandora documents.
The National Assembly announced that the investigation is aimed at establishing whether the President has violated the ethical code that prohibits candidates and officials from disposing of their resources or assets in tax havens.
The Pandora Papers accused Lasso of taking control of 14 offshore companies, mostly in Panama, which closed down after former President Rafael Correa passed a law in 2017 banning presidential candidates from owning companies in tax havens.
Read more: Ecuador warns trade talks with Mexico at a 'dead end'