Guillermo Lasso confirmed that he will not be a candidate in the Ecuadorian elections

Guillermo Lasso 1

The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, indicated that he will not be a candidate in the extraordinary elections of August 2023. “Today, after deep reflection, I will not accept the presidential nomination for the elections,” said the president at a press conference held in the Carondelet Palace, in Quito.

Lasso assured that “holding office as president is the greatest honor of my life” and called on citizens to vote responsibly: “In the next elections we will have the opportunity to stop this macabre plan. We will have to choose between two very clear options: democracy or authoritarianism ”.

The president referred to his two years in office and highlighted some achievements such as anticovid vaccination. Although he acknowledged that “not everything has been perfect” and pointed out that crime, related to drug trafficking, has been one of the main problems that his administration had to face.

Lasso also spoke of the attacks his government received from the opposition: “I mean political tricks… like subjecting the country to unfounded political trials.” The president was left in this situation after dissolving Congress and calling elections to avoid being removed through impeachment, a presidential power protected by the Constitution.

“Institutionality does matter, respect for the law does matter, democracy does matter… They matter and have an impact on our ability to prosper and work in the country,” the president said during his press conference. Lasso called on political actors to ask themselves if their candidacies contribute to democratic stability in the country: “Democrats do not cling to power, which is fleeting.”

The president indicated that this announcement is a new beginning: “ This is by no means an endpoint”, he assured and reiterated that “the work does not stop, on the contrary, it will redouble. It doesn’t make any sense for me to campaign when the country needs me dedicated to the citizens,” Lasso said.

Lasso, who in his first months of government enjoyed a high popular acceptance of 80%, now has approval for his management that does not exceed 20%. The president has faced uprisings in the streets and impeachment attempts in Congress.

In addition, it has been reported that people close to his circle are linked to acts of corruption. The biggest scandal was the Encuentro Case, in which the Prosecutor’s Office investigates a corruption scheme in public companies in which Danilo CarreraGuillermo Lasso‘s brother-in-law and a former public official, would be linked.

A few hours before the statement about his candidacy, the Miami Herald and Plan V revealed that a private company, owned by a man close to Lasso, hired a US public relations firm on behalf of the Ecuadorian Communications Secretariat to undertake a campaign to safeguard the good name of Lasso and his family during the impeachment trial. The contract was signed for USD 250,000.

In the records of the Department of Justice of the United States, it is stated that the public relations firm provided services to the Secretary of Communication represented by Wendy Reyes. However, Reyes has denied that contracts of this type have been signed during her period. Law experts have ruled on the case and have assured that if there were public funds involved in that contract, the government would be facing a case of embezzlement (embezzlement).

The extraordinary elections will take place on August 20, as reported by the National Electoral Council of Ecuador. That day Ecuadorians will return to the polls to elect a new president, vice president and 137 legislators to complete the current term that ends in 2025.