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Ecuador’s president refuses to appear before Congress for ‘Pandora’s Papers’

Ecuadorean President Guillermo Laso on Wednesday refused to go to the opposition-controlled Congress to present his version of the scandal in which he was embroiled by the “Pandora Papers,” prompting the legislative committee to make a new call for the agent to appear “in a compulsive manner.” .

The President was summoned by the Constitutional Safeguards Committee to testify after an international press investigation revealed that several leaders and dignitaries from around the world, including Lasso, stashed assets in tax havens.

The commission summoned Lasso, a 65-year-old former right-wing banker, on Wednesday.

He informed the president in a letter that he would not attend, but was ready to receive lawmakers at Government House “as soon as all expected appearances on the work schedule are cleared.”

Lasso claimed that he had a “full right” to know what the rest of the people mentioned said before giving his testimony.

In the absence, the chair of the commission, Jose Cabascango (Pachacotic, left) concluded the session by summoning the governor “for the second time, obligatory and by law” to appear before the National Assembly on Friday.

“We are not the audit committee that takes appearances at home,” the lawmaker said, adding that a “lack of cooperation is hampering” the parliamentary inquiry.

The president’s wife and son also did not appear on Wednesday to testify before the parliamentary committee, considering that they are not obligated because they are not public officials.

Lasso, in power since May, has taken control of 14 offshore companies, mostly based in Panama, and shut them down after former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017) approved a law in 2017 that bans presidential candidates from having companies in Heaven. Pandora’s Leaves.

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He said in his letter that he did not violate the law to be a candidate, “I was not involved in the aforementioned ban when registering my candidacy for the presidency nor since then until today.”

The president acknowledges that he has “legitimate investments in other countries” that he has disposed of as a candidate in the elections he won this year.

Before several thousand of his supporters gathered in front of the presidential house on Wednesday, Laso described the groups planning protests against the monthly fuel increase, including indigenous people, as “coup plotters” and “conspirators.”

Pachakotik is the political arm of the majority and opposition of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Kuni).

Government (Interior) Minister Alexandra Villa insists that Congress intends to impeach the president, a mechanism by which he can be removed from office.

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