President Lenin Moreno has removed Vice President Jorge Glas from all official functions, including oversight of the council that manages natural resources, including oil production.
By executive decree, Glas’ vice presidential responsibilities with the Council of Production, the Tax Advisory Council, and the Committee for (earthquake) Reconstruction and Reactivation have been terminated. Moreno signed the decree Thursday morning.
Moreno’s move comes a day after Glas repudiated many of the president’s policies and accused him of betraying the legacy of former president Rafael Correa. It comes two days after the publication of comments by an Odebrecht corporate official indicating that Glas had demanded and received bribes for large construction projects in Ecuador.
In a new development, the federal prosecutor announced Thursday morning that Glas and more than 20 others are being investigated for embezzlement in the 2012 awarding of an oil contract.
In a late afternoon press conference, a defiant Glas insisted he was “still the vice president for all Ecuadorians” and he would continue to perform the duties he saw fit. Since he no longer has access to the presidential air pool, he said he would tour the country in his van.
Glas’ attack on Moreno and Moreno’s decision of strip the vice president of official duties set off several efforts for reconciliation on Thursday. Alianza País, of which Moreno and Glas are members, met in emergency session and later announced its intention to work toward a peaceful resolution. The Catholic church also offered its mediation services.
Some members of the National Assembly are organizing a second attempt to force an impeachment trial of Glas based on new corruption evidence.