Ecuadorean Vice President Jorge Glas' "temporary absence" has marked its 90th day, according to government officials, reportedly making his absence definitive.
However, Glas and his defense deny any absence from his post. The 90-day period coincides with Glas’ pre-trial detention, which started on Oct. 2, 2017.
In the case of definitive absence, Article 150 of Ecuador’s Constitution enables President Lenin Moreno to send a list of three potential candidates to replace Glas from which the National Assembly will decide upon.
According to Secretary of Internal Affairs Miguel Carvajal, the list would be sent to the legislative branch “in the least possible time."
"It should be this week," he added.
Through his Twitter account, Secretary of Science and Technology Augusto Barrera announced, “Today, Jorge Glas’ temporary absence culminates and it becomes definitive, President Lenin is obligated to send a three-person list of candidates to occupy the Vice Presidency.”
El Universo reported that a source close to the president said the list will be headed by a woman close to the Democracy Yes movement led by Gustavo Larrea. He is a politician who was close to former President Rafael Correa’s government until he was forced to exit in 2009, when he was not allowed to run in legislative elections as a candidate for Alianza Pais. After that, Larrea joined Ecuador's right-wing opposition against Correa.
So far, no official statement on the temporary or definitive character of Glas’ absence has been made by the government. Glas’ lawyer, Eduardo Franco Loor, has dismissed the charges of temporary absence, arguing that he didn’t abandoned his post “because the president, through executive decree number 100, took away the functions that he had as vice president.”
Furthermore, Loor claimed that if Moreno sends a list of candidates, Glas will take the case to an international court as it would be a violation of his political rights.
If he is vacated on account of his absence, the impeachment process against Glas currently taking place in the legislative branch would fall through, as it is only applicable to sitting presidents and vice presidents. However, Glas has insisted that he wants to address the Plenary of the National Assembly to clear the charges for which he has been sentenced to six years in prison.