The motion, which intended to dismiss the president elected in May 2021 for his mismanagement of the demonstrations which have paralyzed the country for two weeks, only gathered 80 votes from deputies out of the 92 necessary, according to the results announced overnight. outcome of a virtual session of the National Assembly.
The parliamentary opposition is in the majority within the Assembly (unicameral parliament which has 137 deputies) but is divided. 48 deputies voted against the motion, introduced by the party of former socialist president Rafael Correa, in power from 2007 to 2017.
The same day, Mr. Lasso announced the suspension of the dialogue initiated Monday with the leaders of the demonstrators, justifying his decision by the death of a soldier in an attack the previous night.
“We will not sit down again to dialogue with Leonidas Iza who only defends his political interests and not those of his base”, declared the conservative head of state in a short speech, denouncing a “criminal attack”.
Leonidas Iza is the head of the powerful Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie), spearheading the protests that have paralyzed Ecuador for more than two weeks to demand, in particular, a drop in fuel prices.
– “Opportunist” –
In addition to the soldier killed, five demonstrators perished in violence with the security forces and more than 500 people, civilians or members of the security forces, were injured.
“The country has witnessed all the efforts we have made to establish a fruitful and sincere dialogue (…). To our indigenous brothers and sisters, you deserve better than an opportunist leader who deceived you”, let go President Lasso.
“We are not going to negotiate with those who hold Ecuador hostage or those who attack our security forces and gamble with the health and lives of Ecuadorians,” he added.
“Only when there are legitimate representatives of all the peoples and nationalities of Ecuador, who seek real solutions and are open to real and frank dialogue, will we return to the table of dialogue”, he posed as a condition.
La Conaie immediately reacted by accusing the government of “authoritarianism” and “lack of will”.
“We hold Guillermo Lasso responsible for the consequences of his warmongering policy (…) Lasso does not break with Leonidas, he breaks with the people”, thundered the organization on Twitter.
That very morning, the government did not show up for the discussions begun the day before in Quito with indigenous representatives, including Mr. Iza, which are taking place in an annex of the great Catholic basilica in the capital.
“We are currently at an impasse in this dialogue process, but we are leaving the door open”, reacted later the head of Conaie. “We want peace! Stay united, (…) do not take action,” he told several dozen of his supporters gathered in front of the neo-Gothic basilica.
After more than two weeks of blockages and several episodes of violence, including two attempts to intrude protesters into the precincts of Parliament, indigenous representatives and the government delegation were nevertheless expected to move towards a way out of the crisis on Tuesday.
As a sign of goodwill, the government on Sunday reduced the price of petrol and diesel by 10 cents. He also ended on Saturday the state of emergency declared a week earlier in six of the 24 provinces.
Quito, where ten thousand indigenous demonstrators are gathered, out of the 14,000 in the whole country according to the police, is at the heart of the mobilization.
Spear or shield in hand, groups of dozens of demonstrators circulated in the capital on Tuesday, around two universities and a cultural center serving as their base, as well as in the Basilica district.
No major incidents or clashes were reported for the day.
The government “does not plan to declare a new state of emergency, the situation is calm,” said Interior Minister Patricio Carillo.
Past mobilizations of the indigenous movement caused the fall of three presidents between 1997 and 2005.