Ecuador declares 60-day state of emergency after assassination of presidential candidate

Ecuador declares 60-day state of emergency after assassination of presidential candidate

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Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, on Thursday, announced a 60-day state of emergency across the country in connection with Wednesday’s assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio.

On Wednesday, media reported that Villavicencio had been shot dead during a rally in Ecuador’s capital Quito.

Mr Lasso later confirmed the reports.

“I am declaring a state of emergency for 60 days. From now on, the armed forces are mobilised throughout the country to guarantee the security of citizens, the tranquillity of the country, and free and democratic elections,” Mr Lasso said in an address to the nation, broadcast on the channel of the presidential administration on YouTube.

Ecuador’s National Electoral Council announced on Tuesday that early presidential elections would be held on August 20 after Mr Lasso dissolved the National Assembly by decree last week and brought forward the vote scheduled for 2025.

Mr Lasso’s decision to dissolve the opposition-led legislature came as lawmakers tried to impeach him for not stopping a deal between the state-owned oil transport company and a private tanker company, accusations he denies.

In disbanding the assembly, the president made the first use of an option available under the constitution in conflicts with the legislative branch.

Elections had to be called within three months for both the assembly and presidency, and the winners would serve out what would otherwise have been the remainder of the terms of those elected officials.

A runoff vote will be held in October if there is no outright winner.

Mr Lasso can choose to run in the presidential election. In the meantime, he can rule by decree for up to six months.

(Sputnik/NAN)


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