Maria Alejandra Vicuña has been elected new vice-president of Ecuador to replace Jorge Glas, found guilty of corruption in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal.
Proposed by President Lenin Moreno, Vicuña, currently acting vice-president, began her political life in the Alianza Bolivariana Alfarista (ABA) movement, which supported the formation of Alianza País in 2006.
The lawmaker was elected assemblywoman for the Guayas province 2009-2013 and 2013-2017. She also heads the Urban Development and Housing department.
The Plenary of the National Assembly voted in a meeting which started at 3:40pm Saturday with more than 100 legislators present.
Glas was declared in abandonment of his position and Cesar Litardo, official assemblyman for Los Ríos, said the election had to take place in order to defend democracy.
"We have the constitutional right to have a vice-president to fulfill his duties and render accounts," Litardo told the assembled lawmakers.
In total, 106 legislators cast their votes. Vicuña was confirmed the winner with 70 affirmative votes, 17 negative and 19 abstentions.
The move to select a new vice-president complies with Ecuador's Constitution, which states that no sitting vice-president can be absent from office for 90 days. Such is the case of suspended vice-president, Glas.
Government officials said Glas, accused of illegal association in the Brazilian Odebrecht bribery and corruption case, has reached the 90-day mark after being in pre-trial detention since October 2.
Although he was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison, Glas' legal defense has vowed to appeal the ruling.