Former President Lenin Moreno said Wednesday that he will not return to Ecuador despite a vote by the National Assembly that he come home immediately. The ex-president said he planned to remain in the U.S. to fulfill his recent appointment as Commissioner for Disability Affairs for the Organization of American States.
With 100 of 137 votes in favor, the Assembly demanded that Moreno return to face potential charges in ongoing investigations. Correista (UNES) Assemblyman Fausto Jarrín asked the comptroller and attorney general to enforce the order, saying that Moreno has exceeded the 90 days granted for his visit to the U.S. “The time he was allowed to be out of the country expired November 18 and he should return to face the charge that will develop from the investigations.”
In a Tweet, Moreno called the Assembly’s demand “absurd” and said his role with OAS requires him to live in Washington, D.C. “In the first place, there is no rule that I can only be away for 90 days. Secondly, there are no legal charges against me, only a witch hunt about trivial matters that have already been addressed.”
Moreno’s duties as Disability Affairs Commissioner with the OAS are similar to those he had with the United Nations prior to being elected president in 2017. He lived in Geneva, Switzerland from 2014 to 2016.
Several Assembly members who voted against the demand agreed with Moreno. “Nothing has developed from the investigations and it seems unreasonable to expect him to abandon his new job to come home,” said César Rohon of CREO. “This is a political gambit by the Correistas and waste of the Assembly’s time.”