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Ecuador's parliament convenes session to debate Lasso's impeachment

The president of the National Assembly (Parliament) of Ecuador, Virgilio Saquicela, convened a session for this Saturday (25) which will have as the only item on the agenda the debate on a impeachment request of the country’s president, Guillermo Lasso.

The summons was made on Friday night (24) at the request of at least least one third of parliamentarians, who allege a serious national situation due to the wave of protests against the high cost of living and the government’s economic policies.

The activation of the presidential impeachment procedure had already been anticipated. also this Friday by a group of members of the Assembly linked to former President Rafael Correa and by a sector of the Pachakutik movement, the political arm of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), the main organizer of the protests.

The session, at the Assembly’s headquarters, will take place a short distance from El Arbolito Park, which for two days has been the scene of a confrontation between constant between protesters and the security forces.

The organic law of the Assembly requires that the session to debate the impeachment be convened within 24 hours after the submission of the request, and the president himself was also summoned to present his arguments.

After the debate, Parliament has 25 hours to vote about the continuity of the president. For the impeachment to proceed, the votes of at least two thirds of the congressmen are required – 137 of the 137 members.

If the process takes place, the vice president would assume the presidency, and the National Electoral Council (CNE), within seven days after the publication of the resolution, would call early legislative and presidential elections.

In a speech to the nation broadcast on television and on social networks, Lasso on Friday denounced an attempted coup promoted by the leaders of the protests and called on “the international community to warn about this attempt to destabilize democracy in Ecuador.”

The president accused the president of Conaie, Leonidas Iza, of seeking “the overthrow of the government”.

Twelve days of protests

)The protests began in June , convened mainly by Conaie, although other peasant organizations, unions and student federations also joined.

The indigenous movement wants the government to comply with a list of ten demands, including that fuel prices be reduced and frozen, that prices for basic necessities be controlled, that state-owned companies are not privatized and that the oil and mining activity in the Amazon is not expanded.

So far, the mobilization has left five people dead and at least 200 injured among protesters and members of the forces of security.

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