Of three South American presidents, only one will complete his term

América Writing (BLAZETRENDS).- Of the three presidents elected in South America in 2021 -the Ecuadorian Guillermo Lasso, the Peruvian Pedro Castillo and the Chilean Gabriel Boric-, only the latter will conclude his constitutional mandate if the Ecuadorian Justice finally ratifies the dissolution of Parliament and the early call for elections decreed this Wednesday by Lasso or he is dismissed.

In the midst of the political trial against him, the conservative Guillermo Lasso decided this Wednesday to dissolve the National Assembly, with an opposition majority. And call early general elections, in what is colloquially known as “cross death.” It marks the early end of the Presidency but at the same time concludes the current legislature of Parliament.

With this decision, the only South American leader who will be able to carry out the constitutional mandate of those elected two years ago is Gabriel Boric.

In the fourteen months that he has been in government, he has seen some of his emblematic proposals fail. Like the tax reform, which sought to collect 3.6% of GDP (10,000 million dollars) but was not approved by the Chamber of Deputies. Or the project of a new magna carta that the Constituent Convention elaborated. Rejected in a referendum by a large majority in September 2022.

“It will be necessary to see what measures the opposition will adopt within the National Assembly, how many people the opposition manages to take to the streets to put pressure on the Government, and what position the Armed Forces and the Police will adopt, which for the moment continue to support the Government. This political crisis is not over yet,” the regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Daniel Zovatto, told BLAZETRENDS about what happened in Quito.

The way in which Lasso will end his presidency differs from what happened in Peru with Pedro Castillo. Who on December 7, 2022, when he had been in the Presidency for a year and a half, tried to dissolve Congress.

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More cases of South American presidents

The measure, considered by the majority of legislators as “a coup d’état”, led to the dismissal and arrest of the ruler. He currently remains in preventive detention in the Barbadillo prison (Lima). Waiting for the process to continue or for the justice to file the case against him for the alleged commission of the crimes of rebellion and conspiracy.

The dismissal of Pedro Castillo was one more chapter in the institutional crisis that has led Peru to have six presidents in less than five years, one of them Martín Vizcarra, who starred in an episode that is somewhat similar to the situation now facing Guillermo Lasso with the National Assembly of Ecuador.

In Peru, the Constitution establishes that if the Legislative Power censures or denies confidence in two Councils of Ministers, the president is empowered to dissolve Parliament and immediately call general elections to elect a new Congress.

The case of Vizcarra in Peru

In 2019, the then president Martín Vizcarra announced that his prime minister, Salvador del Solar, was going to formulate a question of confidence linked to a bill aimed at modifying the organic law of the Constitutional Court. On September 30, Del Solar was presenting at the headquarters of Congress, but they did not allow him to enter by order of the president of the lower house, Pedro Olaechea. After a struggle, the prime minister managed to enter and present the motion.

Vizcarra, to whom Parliament had already denied trust on one occasion, considered that there had been a factual denial of trust and closed Congress.

Some defenders of Pedro Castillo now appeal to this figure, who never received a single denial of confidence – factual or not – to justify his failed self-coup on December 7, when he announced the dissolution of Congress – without immediately calling legislative elections, as dictated by law-, the reorganization of the judicial system and the formation of an emergency executive that was to govern by decree.

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