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News > Ecuador

President Lasso Dissolves the Ecuadorian Congress

  • President Guillermo Lasso (C), Quito, Ecuador, May 17, 2023.

    President Guillermo Lasso (C), Quito, Ecuador, May 17, 2023. | Photo: Pichincha Comunicaciones

Published 17 May 2023

The right-wing politician resorted to a legal mechanism to avoid being ousted by lawmakers on Saturday.

Appealing to article 148 of the Constitution, President Guillermo Lasso on Monday decreed the dissolution of the National Assembly arguing the existence of a "serious political crisis and internal commotion."


Impeachment Trial Against President Lasso Continues In Ecuador

The decree activating this legal mechanism establishes that the National Electoral Council (CNE) must call for general elections to be held within a period of 7 days. This new electoral process, however, may be carried out up to a period of six months. 

The National Assembly is also notified that its legislators' term has ended early. This early termination of functions does not imply labor obligations.

"Ecuador needs a new political and social pact that will allow it to get out of the political crisis in which it finds itself. We must move towards a solution that offers hope to families and puts an end to a useless and irrational confrontation," Lasso he said at the beginning of his address through a mandatory national radio and television broadcast.

The tweet reads, "Military and police personnel enter the National Assembly after the 'cross death' decree."

After a very long argument focused on presenting the legislators as "permanent conspirators," President Lasso announced that he was dissolving the National Assembly to "return to the Ecuadorian people the power to decide their future in the next elections."

Popularly known as "Cross Death", this legal mechanism allows the Executive branch to rule for six months through decrees that are applied as if they were laws. The Constitutional Court, however, must review the contents of these "law decrees."

"Starting today, the National government will issue decrees that will comply with the mandate that you gave me. I have signed a first decree to reduce taxes on families. It will be sent to the Constitutional Court for its review," Lasso said.

"Public services will operate normally. The Armed Forces and the Police continue to guarantee security. The private sector has all the guarantees to continue contributing to economic growth," he added.

While these announcements were being made, State security forces began to surround the National Assembly building to prevent people from entering or leaving. These scenes surprised a country that had not seen anything like this for more than 40 years.

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