An effort by the Correista Union of Hope (UNES) in the National Assembly to impeach President Guillermo Lasso failed Friday when the Social Christian and Democratic Left parties announced they oppose the move.
In a statement released at 7 a.m., UNES said that the Assembly should move immediately to remove the president, blaming him for “the political crisis and the internal destabilization the country is facing.”
Although the impeachment effort has the support of UNES’s 47 members and 11 members of Pachakutik and the Democratic Left, it falls far short of the 91 votes needed to succeed.
Despite the lack of support, National Assembly President Virgilio Saquicela agreed to bring the UNES proposal to the full Assembly.
The leadership of the Democratic Left said the move to impeach can only lead to “more chaos and polarization” at a time when the government should focus its attention of resolving the indigenous-led strike. In its statement, the Social Christians acknowledged the political crisis but said the solution is not to replace Lasso.
The Democractic Left and Social Democrats also said they oppose any effort to invoke the Death Cross, which would require new elections for the president and Assembly.
Pachakutik party leader Salvador Quishpe attacked UNES for attempting to make “political gain” based on the struggles of the indigenous people. “What is happening in the streets of Quito today is not a mobilization of the UNES movement, it is an uprising of people who have not forgotten the insults and injuries inflicted on them by the government of Rafael Correa.”
He added: “We don’t need to refresh our minds to remember the 2015 massacre inflicted on the people of Saraguro and Imbabura by the Correistas who today pretend to be our champions. With blood on their hands, they now want to take us in their arms but we will not allow it.”
On his WhatsApp account, Lasso boasted that the Correistas have “yet again” failed. “There is no doubt that the coup attempt has been severely wounded by the 300 tons of drugs that this government seized in the last year. They needed that money to succeed and it was denied them. It is narcopolitics versus democracy, which is the dilemma Ecuador faces, but so far democracy is winning.”
Lasso’s reference to drug money is based, apparently, on recent revelations of relationships of two UNES members with drug cartel kingpins.