If that instance issues a ruling against, the case is archived; but if the ruling is of admissibility, it continues its process in Parliament.
The Constitutional Court (CC) of Ecuador began Monday afternoon to debate the admissibility of the impeachment process against the president of the South American country, Guillermo Lasso, the agency reported.
The process reached the CC after the Legislative Administration Council (CAL) of the National Assembly (Parliament) approved, in a new vote last Friday, the request for impeachment.
The Constitutional Court is debating a draft admissibility opinion delivered by magistrate Teresa Nuques —who was appointed by public lottery as a speaker— and was distributed to the rest of his colleagues, reviewed Radio Pichincha.
In accordance with article 148 of the Jurisdictional Guarantees Law and Constitutional Control, to approve the resolution —whose content is unknown— the favorable votes of at least six of the nine judges of the CC (two thirds of the Plenary) are required.
The magistrates have to issue their final opinion 48 hours after the project is delivered; which means that his decision will be known this week.
The Minister of Government, Henry Cucalon, said that the Executive will respect the decision of the Court. “Whatever the opinion that the CC makes, it will deserve our greatest respect. That is the institutional framework. That is living in the rule of law, not when the rulings favor me, I like them, and they are bad when they do not favor me,” commented the official in an interview with radio Democracia, whose statements were picked up by El Comercio.
Then what next?
If the CC issues a ruling against, the case is archived; but if the decision is admissibility, the president of the Assembly has a period of three days to return it to the CAL, which will send it to the Oversight Commission, a body that must decide whether or not to recommend impeachment within 30 days .
Once the report of the Oversight Commission is received, the head of Parliament will convene the plenary session to carry out the prosecution. In the session, the president has the right to defend himself and to approve the motion of no confidence, a qualified majority (92 votes) must be obtained.
The request for a trial against Lasso, which the government has described as “another attempt at destabilization”, was presented after the National Assembly approved a report on March 4 that recommends this process against the president for crimes against the security of the State and for the alleged commission of omission of crimes of bribery, embezzlement and concussion, after an investigation into an alleged network of corruption in public companies in the country.
This alleged plot would be led by Danilo Carrera, Lasso’s brother-in-law, and would operate mainly in the National Electricity Corporation (CNEL) and in the Electricity Corporation of Ecuador (Celec); although it would also have extended to Petroecuador.
In addition, according to the investigations, the Ecuadorian government would have an alleged connection with drug trafficking, specifically with the Albanian mafia.