The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Laso, has activated the ‘Muerte Cruzada’, dissolving the National Assembly and allowing himself to rule the country by decree for six months, in what is already being called a dictatorial move by his main opponents.
“I have decided to apply article 148 of the Constitution of the Republic, which grants me the power to dissolve the National Assembly due to a serious political crisis and internal commotion, for which I have signed Executive Decree number 741. In addition, I have requested the National Electoral Council to immediately call legislative and presidential elections for the rest of the respective periods,” the president said in an address to the nation.
Just after the president’s announcement, the military and police made their own declaration in support for the embattled president in an address to the nation. It’s now up to the Constitutional Court to determine whether or not the executive’s decision is in accordance with the Constitution. Lasso said that he took the measure because of a serious social upheaval. However, the president was in the midst of a political trial in the National Assembly, which began on Tuesday and which would have seen a vote for the removal of the president.
Around 92 votes were needed for the president to be removed from power, in an Assembly which had elected new authorities, many of which are from the Correista bench—associated with former left-wing president Rafael Correa.
Members of the National Assembly were unable to enter the legislative building in Quito on Wednesday morning, which they found completely militarized. People have taken to Avenida Amazonas in protest, with reports of tire burning.
The indigenous movement CONAIE, has stated that it will take measures after it holds and assembly to consult with its bases and decide on collective action. Meanwhile, the Revolución Ciudadana has said that the decree issued by Lasso “is evidence of the triumph of the Impeachment Trial. This desperate and unconstitutional action is a strategy of a desperate government that seeks to avoid the vote to remove him, without caring about the people.”
By Kawsachun News
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