National Assembly President Guadalupe Llori has 10 days to defend herself against charges that she failed to carry out her executive duties. The commission assigned to investigate Llori is holding hearings this week based on complaints filed by Social Christian Assemblyman Cristian Esteban Torres.
Torres claims Llori failed to allow consideration of procedural changes to the Assembly agenda or to allow debate on legislation that she opposed. “On many occasions, she ignored the calls from a majority of the Assembly to take up critical issues,” Torres says. “Because she blocked these efforts, the Assembly has been deadlocked for two months, accomplishing almost nothing.”
The issues Torres claims Llori ignored were presented by the Social Christian party and the Correista Union for Hope (UNES).
During the first stage of the investigation, both Llori and Torres will submit documentation of charges and defense to the commission. Following review of the submissions, Llori will have the opportunity to present her defense.
According to most Assembly members and political experts, the investigation will lead to the dismissal of Llori and the installation of a president sympathetic to the political positions of the Social Christians and the Correistas.
“The votes are there for her removal,” said Llori supporter and member of the Creo party, Juan F. Flores. “She has the support of Creo [President Guillermo Lasso’s party], most of Pachakutik and some independents, but this is not enough to keep her in office.”
Flores said the investigation of Llori is “just the beginning” of the Correista plan to gain control of government functions. “If they succeed here, they will move on to replace the attorney general, the judicial council and the elections commission,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to create a so-called truth commission that would exonerate Correa of his crimes and allow him to return to Ecuador.”
Political analyst and Quito university professor William Medina agrees with Flores that Llori will be replaced. “This seems inevitable,” he says. “The more intriguing question concerns the role the president has in all of this. He was originally an ally of Llori but has offered no defense in recent weeks. Many of us believe that Lasso made an arrangement with Correa and Nebot allowing the impeachment to go forward but we are not sure about the endgame.”