Ecuador remains calm despite the crisis unleashed after the dissolution of the National Assembly decreed on Wednesday by President Guillermo Lasso, the day after an impeachment against him began in Parliament. In a questioned application of the so-called “cross death”, the conservative president also called presidential and legislative elections, but in the meantime he will be able to govern by decree, which he began to do on Wednesday by enacting a tax reform.
Uncertainty has taken over the country, although everything indicates that the crisis will be resolved peacefully since the situation created is convenient for Lasso but above all for the majority opposition Union for Hope (UNES), a formation led from its Belgian refuge by former leftist president Rafael Correa (2007-2017), who sees himself as the winner of the elections that must be held within three months, on a date to be announced by the National Electoral Council (CNE) in the coming days.
For a term of only two years
Correa’s party, refugee in Brussels, sees itself as the winner while Lasso does not rule out running
A priori, there are only two dark clouds that could cloud the process and both have to do with the indigenous movement, which is divided by the president’s decision. On the one hand, there is the possibility of protests in the streets called by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), whose president, Leónidas Iza, has left this possibility open, depending on the measures that Lasso takes by decree in this situation of interim.
“We declare ourselves in permanent vigil in defense of the interests of the Ecuadorian people,” Iza said on Wednesday after meeting with the executive of the influential organization, which in previous crises managed to paralyze the country with its massive mobilizations. Iza described Lasso’s action as a “self-coup d’état”.
The other cloud is the appeals of unconstitutionality presented by several of the deputies –the majority, indigenous- dismissed due to the closure of the Legislative Assembly, which in the next few hours must be resolved by the Constitutional Court.
The surprise candidate of 2021
The indigenous leader Yaku Pérez calls for unity in the movement to be the “third way”
However, the most reputable indigenous leader, the former presidential candidate Yaku Pérez, was satisfied with the electoral process that is opening and his first reaction was in the key of a campaign. “We don’t have to celebrate anything, but it is a relief from the incompetence and indolence of the nightmare that President Lasso represented us,” said Pérez, who in the 2021 elections gave a surprise and was a few votes away from sneaking into the second round as a candidate for the Pachakutik indigenous formation.
In a video distributed on his social networks, Pérez already spoke in an electoral tone and called for the unity of the indigenous movement to “build the third real way” between Lasso and Correa. “It is time to build the preferential option of the most humble, of honest people, of the impoverished,” Pérez said.
For his part, the national coordinator of Pachakutik, Marlon Santi, called the dissolution of Congress unconstitutional but did not call for mobilizations either, although he played with ambiguity. “The assembly members are going to undertake a fight together with the Ecuadorian people in territorial scenarios for the good of the peoples and nationalities, and especially of all Ecuadorians,” Santi said.
Lasso may run in the elections but has not said if he will. The president who comes out will only govern during the two years of the mandate that the former banker had left. However, Lasso seems to have started the campaign. The tax reform that the president promulgated by decree –has to be validated by the Constitutional Court- represents a tax cut and benefits the middle class above all.