A young Guayaquil business manager and economics professor is expected to be named Ecuador’s new vice president today by the National Assembly. Otto Sonnenholzner, 35, will become the third vice president in President Lenin Moreno’s administration, replacing Maria Vicuña, who resigned the position last Tuesday following allegation that she extorted payments from an employee when she served in the assembly.
Vicuña had replaced Moreno’s first vice president, Jorge Glas, last year when Glas was convicted of corruption and sentenced to prison.
Sonnenholzner, whose heritage is German and Lebanese as well as Ecuadorian, has solid support in the Assembly, according its president Elizabeth Cabezas. “His credentials are impressive and we have found no factors in his background that would prevent him from assuming the position.”
Sonnenholzner has the support of all party delegations in the assembly with the exception of Citizens Revolution, supporters of former president Rafael Correa, which says it has not yet made a decision.
Sonnenholzner resigned his positions as director in family owned Galley Enterprises and as general manager of Tropicana Radio in Guayaquil, but will retain his adjunct professorship at the University of Guayaquil.
In addition to advising Moreno on international trade and business issues, Sonnenholzner says his role will be to represent all Ecuadorians. “My job will be to serve as a bridge between the people and their government, to resolve political disputes and support the democratic tradition of Ecuador,” he says.
In addition to his business background, Sonnenholzner has also been a journalist and broadcaster. He is fluent in English, German and French, as well as Spanish.