Ecuador’s National Electoral Council announced on Tuesday that early presidential elections would be held on Aug. 20 after President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the National Assembly by decree last week and brought forward the vote scheduled for 2025.
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 first use of an option available to him 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 will serve out what would otherwise have been the remainder of the terms of those elected officials. If there is no outright winner a runoff vote will be held in October.
Lasso can choose to run in the presidential election. In the meantime, he can rule by decree for up to six months.
Ecuador’s Constitutional Court on Thursday rejected multiple challenges that sought to invalidate Lasso’s decree dissolving the National Assembly.
Lasso, a 67-year-old former right-wing banker, took power in May 2021 for a four-year term after winning the general election.