Assembly council withdraws impeachment papers, says ‘errors’ must be corrected

Mar 22, 2023 | 12 comments

Admitting there are errors in the impeachment document approved Monday by the National Assembly’s Legislative Administration Council (CAL), council leadership agreed to stop the impeachment process until changes can be made. The document was scheduled to go to the Constitutional Court next week for a legal opinion on the validity of charges against President Guillermo Lasso.

National Assembly President Virgilio Saquicela

Without the changes, Assembly President Virgilio Saquicela, council members Esteban Torres and Assembly Vice President Darwin Pereira said an impeachment trial would probably be ruled unwarranted by the court.

According to Saquicela, language in the impeachment document justifies a trial of government ministers and other officials, not the president. “These mistakes must be corrected before the call for a presidential impeachment is submitted to the Constitutional Court,” he said.

Saquicela cited language from the Law of Legislative Function. “If the CAL determines that the request for impeachment does not meet all requirements of the law, it will instruct the applicants to make corrections within three days. If this is not done, the impeachment process will end.”

Supporters of Lasso in the Assembly say the larger problem is a lack of evidence against the president. “The procedural errors in the impeachment papers are obvious but the Correistas and their allies are also beginning to realize that they have a weak case,” says Assemblyman Juan Fernando Flores, of Lasso’s CREO party. “There is no surprise here.”

According to CAL members, the corrections and a vote to approve a new document could add a week or more to the impeachment process.

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