Guillermo Lasso beat Rafael Correa in the midst of the controversy and allegations of manipulation of the electronic voting system. The parliamentary initiative of the correísta Unión por la Esperanza (UNES) to remove the president did not achieve its purpose, despite the maximum pressure applied in the last three days in the midst of the National Strike, in which complaints were registered for buying votes, threats and an express investigation of computer technicians in the face of electronic manipulation of the direction of the vote in favor of the opposition.

In none of the votes was Lasso’s head in danger, although the parliamentary fray has exposed his parliamentary weakness. Finally, the caucus of the citizen revolution, made up of 47 congressmen, had the insufficient support of the majority of the assembly members of Pachakutik (PK), the political arm of the indigenous movement, and of several independents and turncoats.

In total, the anti-government bloc added 80 of the 137 seats registered in the virtual plenary session, to 12 of the 92 that make up the qualified majority (2/3 of the chamber), which would have overthrown the conservative president.

Up to four times it was necessary to vote electronically, since the session was held virtually due to the difficulty of the parliamentarians in reaching the capital due to road and street blockades.

The government bloc, made up of the National Accord Bank (BAN), including Lasso’s CREO Movement, and a group of independents, withstood the challenge, but exhibited its weak parliamentary muscle, with only 48 supporters. On this occasion he had the votes of the Social Christian Party (PSC) and the Democratic Left (ID), which have been definitive. Nine abstentions were also recorded.

Rumors and last-minute nerves dotted the moments before the vote. Lasso waited patiently in his bunker at the Carondelet Palace, surrounded by the team closest to him and with the conviction that he had won the vote, as EL MUNDO learned. He also took advantage of the last recess in the session to call for “responsibility with the country” of the assembly members.

Meanwhile, Correa tightened the screws: “Don’t be ridiculous anymore. Because of your conceit, cowardice and incapacity, you are on the verge of civil war. Graduate as a Democrat, we are going to elections and don’t continue to cover your hands with blood,” inquired the former president, who has traveled from his refuge in Belgium to Honduras to celebrate an anniversary with Mel Zelaya, the strong man of the Xiomara Castro government.

The also advisor to Nicolás Maduro had a lot at stake in this process, almost as much as the president, since the parliamentary dismissal can only be carried out once each legislature. Correa is a fugitive from Ecuadorian justice and is awaiting an eight-year prison sentence for corruption. The extradition request made by the Prosecutor’s Office is already in the hands, together with the trial files, of the Belgian authorities.

Lasso’s immediate future depended on the PSC, an ally in the electoral campaign that passed over to the opposition as soon as the legislature began a little over a year ago. His deputies, who have agreed and flirted with Correismo despite their profound ideological differences, stood firm in the face of threats and vote-buying that have scandalized the country for 72 hours. In the end, they demanded “immediate rectifications” from the government.

Something similar happened with the ID congressmen: “Our vote is for Ecuador, not for Guillermo Lasso. We will be attentive to the fulfillment of the rights of citizens.”

The historical plenary session, which had raised so much expectation, became a string of interventions for three days, repeating the same arguments ad nauseam. In total, 109 members of Congress took the floor before voting.

The parliamentary decision comes after the breakdown of dialogue between the government and indigenous leaders, caused by the serious confrontation that occurred at dawn in Shushufindi, in Amazonian territory. A soldier was killed and a dozen soldiers were injured during the attack on the convoy transporting diesel to an oil block. “They were cowardly attacked with firearms and spears,” revealed Lasso, who hours later ordered his delegates not to go to the Basilica del Voto to continue the negotiations that began on Monday.

“We are not going to negotiate with those who hold Ecuador hostage,” added the president, who pointed directly to Leónidas Iza, leader of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie) and main promoter of the National Strike, which yesterday celebrated its sixteenth day. The other leaders immediately backed the radical leader. The slogan “It’s 10 points, not 10 cents!”, which refers to the reduction in fuel prices, has become the new slogan of the protest.

The indigenous movement relies on the mediation of the Catholic Church. “Because of so much poverty, our communities have nothing else to fight with,” added Iza.

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