Quito — The opposition majority in Ecuador’s recently dissolved National Assembly still hopes to be able to reverse President Guillermo Lasso’s decree to return to his functions and continue the political trial that could lead to the president’s removal, however. The Electoral Authority has already predicted that new elections may be held on August 20.
However, the final word is held by the Constitutional Court, which has yet to rule on opponents’ appeals and which usually takes time to render its rulings.
The former head of the closed assembly, Virgilio Saquisella, explained to The Associated Press on Thursday that he had filed a personal lawsuit before that court, arguing that the decree with which Lasso dissolved the assembly was not compatible. Because there was no social unrest in the country.
Lasso had dissolved the assembly a day earlier while it was processing a political trial against him for alleged embezzlement of public funds. The decision was based on an article in the constitution that gives the president the power to dissolve the legislature at once for three reasons: when the assembly has assumed functions that are not consistent with it, obstructing the national development plan, or a serious political crisis. For and internal stirring.
“We need, we demand an immediate announcement from the Constitutional Court,” said Sakwissela, who asked the court to rule within a maximum period of two days. In turn, he said that two other lawsuits had been filed: one from the Christian Social Party (PSC) and the other from the Pachakutik Indigenous Force.
But the government minister, Henri Cucklon, argued at a press conference that the decision to dissolve the assembly is “up to the judgment, norms, discretion and justification of the head of state” and does not require the approval of any body.
After the dissolution of the Assembly, Lasso can rule for up to six months through decree on economic and administrative issues, always with the approval of the Constitutional Court. At the same time, the National Electoral Council should call elections and those elected should serve out the current presidential and legislative term which ends in May 2025.
Lawmakers hope the Constitutional Court will resolve the request before the National Electoral Council calls for new elections.
Lawyer and electoral analyst Medardo Olías explained to The Associated Press that when the election period is declared open, the supreme authority would be the National Electoral Council and that according to constitutional norms “no authority can interfere with the process.” He added that if the Constitutional Court interfered with a decision, its members “could be dismissed.”
Diana Atamant, president of the National Electoral Council, told the Telemazonas television network that the body has until May 24 to call elections, which will be held on August 20 and October 15, if a second round is necessary. The final decision of this body will be adopted on Thursday night.
Saquicela accused the government of being “passive, unable to solve the real problems of Ecuadorians” in terms of health, transport and security, and said: “I do not want to tell whether the assembly was good or bad, what I defend That framework is constitutional and institutional.
Lasso, a 67-year-old former right-wing banker, takes power in May 2021 for a four-year term and has faced strong legislative opposition since the start of his term, led by the pro-unionist Majority for Hope party. President Rafael Correa (2007–2017).