Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the National Assembly on Wednesday, thus ending an impeachment trial for alleged embezzlement that was intended to remove him.
“Due to the serious political crisis and internal commotion, the President ordered the dissolution of the National Assembly,” the document issued by the president said.
With the dissolution of Parliament, Lasso Can rule by decree for up to six months under the control of the Constitutional Court,
lasso will call presidential and legislative elections, The winners of these elections will serve the current presidential and legislative term which ends in May 2025.
It is the responsibility of the National Electoral Council to call the elections to be held within a maximum period of 90 days. Those who are elected in these elections will have to serve out the remaining term of office till May 2025. Although the constitution does not specify a period for this process, it is estimated that it may take four to six months. Lasso could run as a candidate.
Ecuador’s constitution gives the president the power to dissolve Congress.
In a radio and television channel, Lasso assured that “all the efforts of the legislative branch are focused on destabilizing the government.”
He argued that “it is a democratic decision, not only because it is constitutional, but also because it returns to the people of Ecuador the power to decide their future in the next elections” and believed that “it is the best possible decision”. Which opens the way for us to find hope.” Calmness”.
He added that “this is a new moment for optimism.”
decision based Article 148 of the Constitution which gives the President the power to dissolve the Legislature at once Within the first three years of its mandate, for three reasons: when the Assembly has assumed functions that are not consistent with it, because of obstruction of the national development plan, or because of serious political crisis and internal turmoil.
The dissolution occurred at a time when the assembly, dominated by a coalition made up of former President Rafael Correa’s (2007–2017) Union for Hope (UNES) party, the Christian Social Party and the Pachacutic Indigenous Party, was conducting a trial. Politician to lasso for alleged misappropriation of funds.
The president has maintained a poor relationship with the legislature, whose members have accused him of holding state positions, managing public institutions such as hospitals, and even demanding cash in exchange for votes.
Lasso will rule by decree under the control of the Constitutional Court
Ismail Quintana, a lawyer and constitutionalist quoted by the AP, said that Lasso has the right to rule by decree, although these can only be economic matters and it is the Constitutional Court that decides whether they are legal or not.,
He clarified, however, that the rules could be null and void by the decision of the new legislative majority, which is elected in the early elections, as the constitution requires it to submit the executive’s decisions for review. .
Legal analyst Ramiro Aguilar told the AP that “It’s a completely constitutional mechanism” And that this measure helps to settle the dispute between the Government and the Legislature. “A conflict of this nature can go on for four years and it is a conflict that paralyzes the country, so ‘Cross Death’ (Dissolution of the Legislative Assembly) The Constitution established in 2008 was designed to address political conflicts that keep institutions in check, that paralyze institutionalisation”.
However, he added, the country also loses democratic debate because “without the vindication of the legislature the executive branch will have a one-sided voice and the country will lose credibility, as it is left with a weak institutional framework.”
According to the regulations, the National Assembly must physically close its facilities and only its general administrator will have the authority to keep permanent staff in operation, while the rest of the provisional contracts will be without effect. The President can order the use of public force to protect the legislative palace.
Lasso, which has just 25 members out of a total of 137, has been in power since May 2021 and was elected for a four-year term.