Vice President Jorge Glas could soon see a pay cut. Or, he could be out of a job altogether.
The vice president has been in a Quito jail awaiting trial on corruption charges since early October.
Ecuador’s comptroller’s office is reviewing a request to eliminate Glas’ $,6,000 a month salary since he is no longer on the job filed by Ecuador’s Popular United (UP) movement. “It is absurd that he should be collecting a paycheck,” says Alonso López, director of UP. “Not only is he not working for the people of Ecuador, but the evidence suggests he has also received large payments in bribes.”
Sonia Sierra, director of the administrative audit division in the comptroller’s office confirmed that she is looking into the UP request to terminate Glas’ pay.
Glas salary would become a moot point if impeachment efforts in the National Assembly result in a trial. Although members of the ruling Alianza País (AP) party have blocked earlier attempts to put Glas on trial, the momentum appears to be shifting. Last week, assemblywoman Marcia Arregui became the first AP members to announce her support for impeachment. A second AP member, Daniel Mendoza, said he is leaning toward a trial.
With growing support for President Lenin Moreno in his AP ideological fight with former president Rafael Correa, Arregui and Mendoza say many members of AP may be willing to change their position.
“Everyone, including many members of AP are tired and disgusted with the obsession with the vice president’s future,” says Arregui. “The longer we delay dealing with it, the longer we delay working on the legislative work of the country.”
It is unclear if enough AP members are willing to vote for impeachment to reach the required two-thirds Assembly majority required. “Even among those who support the president, there is still the belief that Glas should be judged in court before we go to trial,” Mendoza says.
According to the national prosecutor’s office, Glas and other defendants in the Odebrecht and Petroecuador corruption scandals could go on trial this month.