Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso rules himself out of re-election bid

On May 17, the Ecuadorian leader invoked article 148 of the constitution, ‘mutual death,’ a measure by which he dissolved the National Assembly and called snap elections

Guillermo Lasso
The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, during the announcement this Friday in Quito.José Jácome (EFE)

Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has confirmed that he will not run in the upcoming presidential elections, to be held on August 20, after he dissolved the National Assembly on May 17 by triggering article 148 of the country’s constitution, a provision known as muerta cruzada, or “mutual death,” a constitutional tool by which he is also obliged to end his term in office.

“After deep reflection, I will not accept the nomination as candidate for President of the Republic on August 20,” Lasso announced at a press conference convened at the Carondelet Palace in Quito on Friday. “For this election, I have defined my place,” added the president, who said he will focus on the government projects he still intends to carry out during the fewer than six months he has left in power.

Lasso also criticized the “political tricks that have violated the legal framework,” and said that his decision to dissolve the National Assembly was not made in order to avoid an impeachment trial, “but to stop this macabre plan of institutional usurpation that today is still underway, shamelessly in full view of everyone.” The president added that August presidential elections, “we will have to choose between two very clear options: either democracy or authoritarianism.”

The electoral authority of Ecuador ratified the presidential and legislative elections for August 20. It is the first time in history that elections have been held in Ecuador less than 90 days after the mutual death provision has been invoked, the minimum timeframe established in the Constitution. As such, the window for the registration of candidacies is only twelve days long and ends on June 10.

As yet, there have been no official registrations for the presidential and legislative elections, although at least eight people have expressed their intention to run for the presidency, among them the former vice president, Otto Sonnenholzner; indigenous rights activist Yaku Perez, who also ran in 2021; businessmen Eduardo Maruri and Jan Topic; former legislators Fernando Villavicencio, Salvador Quishpe and Daniel Noboa Azin, and the latter’s father, Álvaro Noboa, who if his candidacy is confirmed will be running for president for a sixth time.

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