Ecuadorian President Divests Vice President Glas of His Powers

Ecuador's Vice President Jorge Glas addresses the National Assembly in Quito, Ecuador, June 21, 2017/Photo: Reuters
Ecuadorian President Divests Vice President Glas of His Powers

Ruling party lawmakers act to restore relations after President Moreno stripped Jorge Glas of his responsibilities.

All 74 representatives of Ecuador’s ruling party in the National Assembly have issued a call for reconciliation and political unity, after President Lenin Moreno stripped his vice president, Jorge Glas, of his responsibilities.

The lawmakers from the Alianza Pais party say they profoundly lament both the declarations of the vice president and the president’s decision to relieve him of all his duties. They reaffirm their full support for both men and say they will work immediately “to restore political relations based on the principles of our project.”

Earlier in its ten point text, the Alianza Pais parliamentary block praises the economic policies adopted by former president, Rafael Correa, and the achievements of his Citizen Revolution in advancing social equality and reducing poverty. The group says it recognizes the importance of President Moreno’s move to advance a dialogue with all sectors of Ecuadorean society. However it insists this must be based on the party’s program which people voted for earlier this year, and the group strongly rejects any secret deals with representatives of the right-wing opposition or the old oligarchy.

Hours earlier, Vice-President Jorge Glas said the decision to take away his reponsibilities is “a clear retaliation” by President Lenin Moreno for criticising his policies and also blamed pressure from “major businessmen and opposition leaders”.

Speaking at a news conference, Glas said “I’ll confess something: I feel liberated because after two months of the new government being in charge, I feel that it has betrayed the principles of the Citizen Revolution.”

“Was it part of the Citizen Revolution’s project to hand CNEL — the public energy company — to the Bucaram family?” he asked, referring to former presidential candidate Dalo Bucaram, leader of the opposition party Fuerza Ecuador. “But Bucaram was not chosen by the Ecuadorean people. This is a betrayal. As well as the national dialogue with the Christian-Democrat party”, he added.

“(Moreno) knew I wouldn’t support reducing taxes for the rich, nor the increase in value-added tax, nor removing the Law on Surplus Value designed to avoid speculation on land, nor other economic measures supposed to address an “economic crisis” that doesn’t exist, as (the former Economy Minister) Ricardo Patiño explained.”

The presidential decree had been issued earlier by Lenin Moreno.

It strips Glas of his responsibilities and removes him from the presidential councils which he was in charge of, including the Committee for the Reconstruction of the areas affected by the earthquake of April 16, 2016.

But it does not mean he will lose his office, which he won in the election three months ago as Moreno’s running mate on the Alianza Pais party ticket.

Glas added that he was still the vice president of all Ecuadoreans, chosen on a popular vote, and that he holds the president responsible for his safety because his official government security has now been removed.

“I was denied the use of the presidential plane, but I will be touring the country in a car, on the country’s beautiful roads which have been renovated by the Citizen Revolution,” he said, confirming he “will keep working with the same passion and commitment to the country,” and to “the eradication of poverty”.

Moreno’s decision to sideline Glas followed a statement made by the vice president on Wednesday in which he alleged a deal made by Moreno with former politicians “would lay the foundation for a state of corruption.”

In the decree, Moreno stated that his vice president “did not understand” the commitment of the Citizen’s Revolution that “involves serving the country in a united effort.”

Former President Rafael Correa criticized Moreno’s move, urging support for Glas and accusing the government of trying to remove him from office for denouncing alleged corruption.

Glas and Moreno were both vice presidents during Correa’s ten years in office from 2007.

Glas said Moreno had agreed to deliver the handling of the electricity sector — one of the most profitable — to the Bucaram family, which is led by former president Abdala Bucaram who was ousted from office in 1996, after being charged with graft.

The Vice President said that people had voted in the presidential election to continue a revolution which has changed Ecuador, fighting against corruption and dignifying the country.


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