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What is cross-death, and what does it mean for Lasso in Ecuador?

By Juan Pablo Álvarez*

The Ecuadorian president decided to dissolve the National Assembly and call for elections, a mechanism stipulated in the 2008 Constitution.

Guillermo Lasso was cornered: the impeachment trial against him was about to end his presidency.

Faced with this extreme situation, the President of Ecuador made an extreme decision: to resort to the constitutional mechanism colloquially called the “cross-death.”

, What is cross-death, and what does it mean for Lasso in Ecuador?
Ecuador’s President, Guillermo Lasso (Photo internet reproduction)


This figure was incorporated in the 2008 Constitution at the height of former President Rafael Correa’s term in office.

Precisely, Article 148 of the Magna Carta, sanctioned fifteen years ago, describes:

“The President of the Republic may dissolve the National Assembly when, in his or her judgment, it has assumed functions that are not constitutionally within its competence, after a favorable opinion of the Constitutional Court; or if it repeatedly and unjustifiably obstructs the execution of the National Development Plan, or due to serious political crisis and internal commotion.”

Likewise, the same article warns that such power may be exercised “only once in the first three years of his term of office” (Lasso has two).

In short, the cross-death allows the President to dissolve the National Assembly and call for elections, both for legislative positions and the Presidency, so Ecuadorians must go to the polls to elect President and Assembly members.



“In a maximum term of seven days after the publication of the dissolution decree, the National Electoral Council will call for the same date for legislative and presidential elections for the rest of the respective periods”, mandates the Constitution.

Until the installation of the National Assembly, the President of the Republic may, prior favorable opinion of the Constitutional Court, issue decrees-laws of economic urgency, which may be approved or repealed by the legislative body.


Until now, no President of the Republic had ever used the cross death.

Lasso reached this extreme situation because he knew that if the impeachment trial against him went forward, the Assembly would remove him from office.

“I have signed Executive Decree 741 to dissolve the National Assembly and request the National Electoral Council (CNE) to call for elections, ” Lasso said.

He added: “Ecuadorians: this is the best decision to give a constitutional solution to the political crisis and internal commotion that Ecuador is going through and give back to the Ecuadorian people the power to decide their future in the next elections”.



Former President Rafael Correa, under whose mandate the 2008 Constitution was sanctioned, accused Lasso of resorting to illegality.

“Ecuadorians: this is illegal. There is no state of internal commotion but a political trial in applying the Constitution.”

“In any case, this is the great opportunity to send home Lasso, his Government, and his rent-a-legislators.”

“Today, more united than ever, until the victory, always!” Correa wrote on Twitter.

*Degree in Journalism from Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora, with a postgraduate degree in Investigative Journalism from Universidad Del Salvador. Specialized in finance. He worked at Diario Perfil, Ámbito Financiero and El Cronista.

With information from Bloomberg

News Ecuador, English news Ecuador, Ecuadorian politics

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