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Instead of pursuing an inquiry into the sending of his fortune to tax havens, legislators only decided to summon former bankcer Guillermo Lasso to appear before the plenary session to explain "a possible link with the Pandora Papers."
On Tuesday, the Ecuadorian parliament had to hear a motion for impeachment against President Guillermo Lasso, prompted by the appearance of his name in the Pandora papers, an international investigation revealing that he sent part of his fortune to tax havens before taking office.
A few hours before the parliamentary debate began, the Comptroller General decided to file a case against Lasso, in which he was being investigated for being linked to the creation of 14 offshore companies.
If this investigation had found that Lasso still controlled those companies when he was a presidential candidate, he could have been removed from the Presidency because a 2017 law prohibits candidates from owning assets in tax havens. But this possibility will not happen.
Since the Comptroller's investigation was shelved, Lasso managed to prevent Congress from discussing an impeachment motion filed by opposition lawmakers, which needed at least 70 votes in favor to be processed. At the congressional plenary meeting on Tuesday, however, the majority of lawmakers, who belong to the right-wing alliance supporting Lasso, voted against the motion to remove him.
Cancel your Wednesday plans, folks.
As the White House launches a huge anticorruption strategy, Congress will hold a #pandorapapers hearing to focus on South Dakota and Tax Haven USA. @ICIJorg
Instead of pursuing an inquiry into the Pandora Papers disclosures, the Ecuadorian lawmakers decided only to summon President Lasso to appear before the plenary to explain "a possible link to the Pandora Papers."
Congress also resolved that the President's bank accounts be analyzed by the Comptroller General, Attorney General, Superintendency of Banks, Internal Revenue Service, and the local institution that monitors international money laundering. None of these decisions, however, jeopardizes his permanence in office.
In October, Forbes and other outlets published details of the Pandora Papers in which the names of high-level Latin American politicians and businessmen appeared. Among them is former banker Guillermo Lasso, who appeared linked to companies created in South Dakota, an U.S. territory where the world's ultra-rich do not pay any taxes.
#Ecuador is experiencing a tense situation amid protests to reject the measures that President Guillermo Lasso seeks to impose and in repudiation of his implication in the Pandora Papers. pic.twitter.com/k2av4iaGUa