Guillermo Lasso arrived at the National Assembly of Ecuador to defend himself in the impeachment trial against him

Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso testifies at the National Assembly, as part of the impeachment process against him for alleged corruption, in Quito, Ecuador May 16, 2023. REUTERS/Karen Toro (KAREN TORO/)

The President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, arrived at the National Assembly after noon this Tuesday to exercise his right to defense in the impeachment trial of censorship for alleged embezzlement raised by the opposition.

Lasso was accompanied by his vice president, Alfredo Borrero, and several of his ministers.

Lasso began his defense after the statements made by the contestants Viviana Veloz and Esteban Torres, from the opposition.

When he finishes his intervention, he will have the right to reply and later the debate will be opened. Voting will take place 72 hours after the aforementioned debate has ended.

At the beginning of his speech, Lasso assured that there is no evidence against him.

According to the opposition, Lasso committed an alleged embezzlement by learning of alleged irregularities in a contract signed by the state company Flota Petrolera del Ecuador (Flopec) and the private firm Amazonas Tanker and not having acted to prevent further damage to the State.

Instead, the president’s defense maintains that the contracts were signed under the previous administration of former President Lenín Moreno (2017-2021) and that under Lasso’s mandate a review was requested from the Comptroller’s Office (Court of Accounts) to renew them under the conditions and observations made by that body.

News in development…