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News > Ecuador

Ecuador Prepares for the Departure of President Guillermo Lasso

  • Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso (C), Nov. 2023.

    Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso (C), Nov. 2023. | Photo: X/ @Defence_Turk

Published 20 November 2023

The incoming president Daniel Noboa will receive a country in crisis with economic stagnation, rampant insecurity and electricity rationing.

The president of Ecuador, the conservative Guillermo Lasso, will conclude his tumultuous term on the upcoming Thursday, shortened by the 'cross-death' mechanism.


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This constitutional measure, decided upon in May, dissolved the National Assembly, compelling the call for new general elections. In these elections, the young entrepreneur Daniel Noboa emerged as Lasso's successor.

Lasso will hand over the presidential reins to the 35-year-old Noboa without completing the 2021-2025 term. His two years and six months in power were initially marked by mass vaccination against COVID-19, followed by political instability.

This period also witnessed an unprecedented wave of violence from organized crime, both inside and outside prisons.

The peak of this violence was the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, intense protests by the Indigenous movement against the Lasso administration's policies, a lost referendum, and a corruption case that triggered an impeachment process.

Despite his name appearing in the 'Pandora Papers,' Lasso's early months focused on the rapid and successful COVID-19 vaccination, earning Ecuador international acclaim.

By the end of 2021, he passed a tax reform criticized by the opposition. However, in 2022, he failed to push through the Investment Law in the Assembly. At that time, he chose not to invoke the "Cross-Death" mechanism.

Shortly after, the Assembly made its first attempt to remove him over the handling of Indigenous movement protests. Lasso survived the initial vote of no confidence by conceding some demands, such as reducing subsidized fuel prices and initiating dialogues whose outcomes are still pending.

In February 2023, Lasso sought popular support through a plebiscite. His goal was to push through constitutional reforms addressing key issues such as the security crisis, changes in State institutions, and environmental policies.

However, the 'No' campaign, promoted by the opposition, won decisively in all eight questions, while the progressive Citizen Revolution party emerged strengthened in local elections.

Weakened by the electoral outcome, Lasso faced further challenges when an apparent corruption scheme in public electric sector companies, allegedly led by his brother-in-law Danilo Carrera, came to light. This was compounded by a police report linking Carrera's friend to a drug trafficking mafia, resulting in his murder weeks later.

The opposition used these events to promote impeachment against Lasso. However, the Constitutional Court removed this case from the charges and only allowed the process to proceed for another cause: alleged embezzlement in the state-owned oil fleet.

As the Assembly was poised to vote on his removal in the final step of the impeachment process, Lasso invoked the "cross-death" in an unprecedented episode since the enactment of the 2008 Constitution. Subsequently, he decided not to seek re-election nor field an official candidate.

The last six months of Lasso's mandate have been the calmest, although not without criticism. Due to the Lasso administration's poor planning, Ecuadorians are currently facing daily electricity rationing, something they have not experienced for at least four decades.

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