The expectation reigns today in Ecuador where, it is speculated on the possibility that the head of State, Lenin Moreno, send a shortlist to replace the vice president, Jorge Glas, who has completed the ninety days maximum allowed by law to temporarily absent himself from office, according to analysts.
Last midnight, three months have passed since Glas was admitted to prison 4 in Quito, accused of alleged illicit association in the corruption plot of the Odebrecht firm. Several analysts believe that these three months configured a “temporary abandonment” of the position and that overcoming the lapse would have become “definitive”, so that Glas could be replaced, according to the Constitution, something that he does not agree with, lawyer of the vice president, Eduardo Franco Loor.
If the “definitive abandonment” is configured, Moreno, at enmity with Glas for political reasons, would have a free hand to draw up a triple with three names, from which the National Assembly (Parliament) should choose who replaces Glas. The academic and political analyst Stalin Raza recalls that since he knows the shortlist, the Legislature will have thirty days to designate the replacement for Glas, and points out that if in that term the assembly members cannot reach an agreement, the first one will be considered elected. However, Franco Loor insists that his client “has not abandoned his position” and describes as “unconstitutional” the possibility of Moreno sending a three-month term to replace him. Moreno came to power last May after winning with Glas, in the electoral formula, the presidential elections on April 2, and replaced his co-national of the Alianza País movement, Rafael Correa, who ruled a decade, since 2007.
However, as soon as he assumed the Presidency, Moreno disengaged from Correa’s orbit and on August 3, he withdrew all functions from Glas after a harsh public letter in which he questioned Moreno’s assertions that he had inherited an economy in “critical” situation of hands of Correa, of whom Glas also was vice-president in the last years of his decade of Government. Accused of alleged illicit association, which he denies, in the case of corruption of the Brazilian firm Odebrecht, Glas was remanded in custody on October 2 and on December 13 was sentenced, in the first instance, to six years in prison. In addition to the legal process before the National Court of Justice, Glas faces a possible political trial in the Assembly, where this week must present the evidence of discharge.
If finally is given way to impeachment, the legislator Daniel Mendoza, akin to Moreno, believes that Glas could reach that interpellation as former vice president what, in his opinion, would make the process in the legislature lose its value. Given the possibility that Glas finally be replaced through the shortlist, his defense advance to Efe that, after exhausting all local instances, you could resort to international “in order to have an integral repair”, which also implies recognition of damages.
On the other hand, Franco is waiting for a response from the Parliament’s president, José Serrano, to a letter in which, on behalf of the vice president, asked him to allow Glas to present his legal arguments before the plenary of Parliament, where he advances the process for a possible political impeachment trial. Serrano himself, as several politicians have pointed out, could be included as a vice president, although the head of Parliament has already denied such a possibility.
María Alejandra Vicuña, who by order of Moreno temporarily replaces Glas, as well as a former Minister of Economy, Elsa Viteri, have been mentioned as possible members on the shortlist.
On this issue, some analysts have suggested the profiles of the new vice president and, in addition, there are those who believe that Moreno should deliver the shortlist to the Assembly after a popular consultation promoted by the Executive, scheduled for next February 4, in which , among other issues, will ask about the elimination of indefinite reelection.
The analyst Fernando Buendía believes that the eventual new vice president should keep an “ideological link” with Moreno’s way of thinking. But jurist Gustavo
Medina argues that the possible replacement of Glas should be chosen “beyond the political or ideological proximity” with the Executive. The Secretary of Policy, Miguel Carvajal, recalled that the designation of the shortlist is “a power of the president” Moreno, elected to govern Ecuador until 2021. (I)