Ecuador's Constitutional Court received several claims of unconstitutionality against the "death cross" decree used by President Guillermo Lasso to dissolve the National Assembly the day before.
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The claims were filed by a group of former assembly members led by Esteban Torres, recently elected second vice-president of the dissolved Assembly.
The cross-death has specific causes "and none of those causes is precisely to avoid the vote of a legal, constitutional impeachment," Torres said. According to him, in the event that the decree is declared illegal and unconstitutional, the Assembly will continue to function, otherwise, they will go to elections.
Another complaints was filed by the former president of the Assembly, Virgilio Saquicela, alleging that there is no reason to dissolve the Legislative Branch since there is no serious political crisis and internal commotion, as argued by the president in the decree.
Together with Esteban Torres, we filed a claim of unconstitutionality of Executive Decree 741 with which President Guillermo Lasso issued the cross death. This decree has no basis, as it is nothing more than a desperate mechanism to avoid his impeachment.
"We demand that the Constitutional Court act, they are the guarantors of the Constitution, the ones who have to resolve, and we democratically demand that they do it immediately and make a pronouncement," Saquicela said in a press conference.
Likewise, Saquicela said that "if the Court pronounces in the sense of suspending this unconstitutional decree, the Parliament will return, but if the Court endorses this decree, there would have to be an electoral process."
The former president of the Assembly said that it is a matter of national interest so he asks the Constitutional Court to make an immediate pronouncement in order to "respect the rule of law and institutionality."
According to Saquicela, Lasso "manipulated" article 148 of the Constitution and has taken the "easiest way out" in the face of an eventual impeachment process against him for alleged embezzlement.
The seat of the National Assembly, located in the center-north of Quito, the capital, remains under military guard and closed with metallic fences, after the presidential order to dissolve the Parliament.
The cross-death is a legal figure foreseen in Article 148 of the Constitution approved in 2008. It is applied in case of a "serious political crisis and internal commotion."