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News > Latin America

Ecuadorean President Refuses to Testify in Congress

  • Guillermo Lasso, Ecuador, 2021.

    Guillermo Lasso, Ecuador, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @ntvuganda

Published 20 October 2021

As a result of the revelations made by the Pandora Papers, Guillermo Lasso is being investigated for tax evasion and breach of constitutional norms.

On Wednesday, Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso refused to testify before Congress for his involvement in the Panama Papers scandal. Rather than fulfill that duty, he asked the Constitutional committee to attend the Executive Branch headquarters after the investigations are concluded.  


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"The President has the right to know all the allegations made against him before he addresses them," a Presidential spokesperson said.

The Constitutional committee is investigating whether Lasso broke a 2017 law that forbids candidates or public officials from owning assets in off-shore accounts.

The lawmakers must also determine whether Lasso evaded his fiscal responsibilities. The committee expects to complete its final report by early November.

Lasso's wife and son also refused to testify. They argued they are not forced to attend the Parliamentary session because they are not public officers.

Previously, the Ecuadorean president said that he got rid of his tax-haven assets before the 2017 law was approved. However, opposition parties demand to know what happened to those assets because there are indications that Lasso transferred ownership of those assets to his relatives but remained the real beneficiary.

The Pandora Papers showed that Lasso controlled 14 companies through Panama-based accounts. He vows, however, he was never involved in such dealings. 

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