Ecuadorian president survives ousting attempt amid sweeping protests
The assembly needed 12 votes more to oust the Ecuadorian president.
Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso survived an attempt by the opposition to oust him after he indicated, through his negotiations with an indigenous leader, that he will not put an end to the protests, which have been going on for weeks.
"We will not return to dialogue with Leonidas Iza, who only defends his political interests and not those of his base," Lasso said, referring to the indigenous leader. "To our indigenous brothers - you deserve more than an opportunist for a leader."
Lasso's enmity with the Ecuadorian national assembly only got worse during the protests - this prompted former leftist president Rafael Correa's loyalists to push a no-confidence vote to oust him from office.
After technical problems which led the assembly to hold the vote three times, 80 out of 137 lawmakers voted to remove Lasso from presidency - the measure needed 92 votes to achieve its goal.
The government, according to Lasso, made substantial compromises to the protesters, including cutting gasoline prices, forgiving debt, subsidizing fertilizers, and more.
Iza remarked that the gasoline price cut was not enough, to which Lasso responded that he would be willing to make negotiations but not with Iza.
"Only when there are legitimate representatives of all the peoples and ethnicities of Ecuador, who seek real solutions and who are open to a real and frank dialogue, will we return to the negotiating table," Lasso said.
"Mr President, we have never conditioned who can come to dialogue and who cannot," Iza responded. "In this moment what seems important to me is an attitude of peace, of dialogue, no more warlike attitudes."
According to the energy ministry on Tuesday, Ecuador's oil production has fallen by 1.8 barrels during the protests.
"In 15 days the state has stopped receiving $166.4 million in the oil sector. Up to now 1,199 wells have been shut, 85% belonging to Petroecuador," the ministry said.
The country's Energy Ministry has recently warned that oil production had reached a "critical" point and that it might be completely suspended within 48 hours if the demonstrations and blockages persisted.
Since June 13, indigenous communities in Ecuador have been marching in protest of the high fuel and food prices, which were met with a police response leading to the deaths of eight people, including one soldier.
On Saturday, Ecuador's National Assembly launched a no-confidence vote against President Guillermo Lasso, nearly two weeks after he declared a state of emergency in response to sometimes violent countrywide protests where security forces used excessive violence against protesters, resulting in the death of a number of Indigenous members.
Ecuador's economy is heavily reliant on oil earnings, with exports accounting for 65% of total output in the first four months of 2022.
On Sunday, Lasso announced that the government will reduce fuel prices, which have provoked weeks of protests, although not by as much as demonstrators had asked.
In a broadcast, Lasso stated that he "decided to reduce the price of gasoline by 10 cents per gallon and diesel also by 10 cents per gallon."
The strong Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), which has been blocking roads and seizing oil wells around the nation since June 13, had asked that prices be reduced by 30 cents and 35 cents, respectively.
On his part, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso revoked the state of emergency, which was one of the indigenous groups' conditions for conducting talks with Ecuador's government.