Nightof trouble in the National Assembly: the correísta Sofía Espín was close to besaved from the destitution. The process instituted against her by EstebanBernal (CREO) under the accusation of interfering in justice (for havingvisited a witness of the Balda case with the presumed purpose of changing hertestimony) arrived yesterday at his decisive day: the Plenary met to know thereport of the investigating commission, which finds her guilty. But, with just93 assembly members present in the chamber at the stroke of 9:00 p.m., therewere not enough votes to sanction her. More than four hours of debate thatthreatened to extend to infinity could not but lead to his definitiveabsolution. Then, a last-minute proposal presented by the pro-government MaríaJosé Carrión saved the process and prolonged the agony of the defendant untilnext week.
It wasa session full of surprises, theatrical effects and uncertainties seasoned byan Organic Law of the Legislative Function (LOFL) inherited from the correísmoand that, from so many holes, it looks like a Gruyere cheese. To begin with,the session opened without an agreement on the number of votes needed todismiss an assembly member. In writing, the Legislative Administrative Council(CAL) asked the Plenary to choose between one of these two alternatives: simplemajority (half plus one of those present) or absolute majority (half plus oneof the members). Then, the unprecedented: Fernando Flores (CREO) asked for theword and put the trip to his own block. Moved apply the qualified majority: twothirds of the votes, that is, 91. Against all odds, the proposal was approvedwith 87 votes in favor.
91votes are needed to dismiss a minister. It sounds coherent that the same isrequired to dismiss an assembly member. But it is not legal. This was explainedby Eliseo Azuero when it was his turn to speak: for the dismissal a resolutionof the Plenary is required; and a resolution of the Plenary is sufficient withhalf plus one of the votes. Nothing to do: Flores’ motion had already beenvoted. What does not stop producing an uncomfortable feeling is the fact thatFlores, who his advisors denounced for having charged a percentage of theirsalaries, will be one of the first beneficiaries of this decision. 91 votes issomething very difficult to achieve in an Assembly where two of the mostnumerous blocs (the ruling party and CREO) do not seem to have control overthemselves.
The trip of Flores (for a long time were those of CREO outside the hemicycle, pulling his ears) decided things. The correístas celebrated in advance, celebrating with hugs and gestures their interventions. All revolved around a new figure in this House: Luis Molina, young lawyer of Rafael Correa and alternate assemblyman of Monica Aleman, who gave him his position to arm the defense. The arguments of Espin and his: procedural issues, especially the denial of the right to defense of what was allegedly a victim, and, of course, the gaps of the wonderful LOFL of correísmo.
The inevitable outcome was approaching. There was despair on the CREO bench. Then María José Carrión took the word, with a buoy in her hand. Honestly, he accepted Espin’s complaint: did he not have the right to defend himself? Well, have it. Submit your proofs by secretariat so that each one of the assembly members can know them. Let’s meet again in 72 hours to decide. Solomonic Weeping, gnashing of teeth and screams in the correísta bench. Voting: 85 in favor of the proposal. At the last moment, the National Assembly won the opportunity not to be, again, like the dog.
Cabezashad no control
ElizabethCabezas asked permission to Sofia Espin to open the debate. The correísta, atthe beginning of the afternoon, moved to vote at once the report of thecommission. It is assumed that a motion must be voted on immediately, but alsowhen it has to do with the object of the debate? For more than ten minutes, thepresident did not know what to do. (I)