Lasso, 65, takes office after his third attempt
Today, Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, became the forty-seventh president of the Republic of Ecuador.
Lasso, a 65-year-old Catholic, takes office after his third attempt. In his administration, he will face challenges such as vaccinating nine million Ecuadorians in 100 days, reactivating the economy and creating sources of employment.
Marking the passing of a new era in Ecuador, the president of the Assembly, Guadalupe Llori, placed the presidential sash on Lasso at the inauguration ceremony in the Legislative Assembly.
In his speech, the president evoked the heroes of the Battle of Pichincha (May 24, 1822) and asked: “Have you enjoyed freedom in Ecuador? Have the law and the independence of powers prevailed? Has equal opportunity reigned?”
“Ecuadorians know me as a man of action. They know that I measure everything based on the results that reality shows. Because only that reveals if we have had the courage to put into practice that task that the founders of our State entrusted to us,” he mentioned.
Lasso said that he receives a country with historical levels of unemployment, “which has been dazzled by its inability to cope with a pandemic” and compared it to other countries—in similar conditions—faced that reality in an “orderly, efficient and corruption-free.”
He added that he receives a nation where the “guilty fatten their pockets while the most innocent cannot even fill their stomachs, where the youth have failed in education and opportunities, among other issues.”
Lasso said that from May 24th everything changes. He said the era of warlords is ending.
And he pointed out that it begins by not accumulating more power in the figure of the President: “Because experience tells us that those who seek all power then end up seeking mercy for the crimes that occur when that power gets out of hand.”
He said that he will remain faithful to what the laws dictate. “We will not persecute anyone. We will not silence anyone. We will rule for all. This means not governing in favor of a privileged sector, but also not against anyone. They have the opinion that they have, do the critic that they do,” he emphasized.
And faced with this, he said that the political persecution in Ecuador is over: “I have not come to satisfy the hatred of a few, but the hunger of many.”
Later, the new head of state pointed out that many people ask him how they will achieve the great change and he said: “The answer is very simple. What happened was democracy itself. After more than ten years of authoritarianism, aggression, and attempts to establish a perpetual regime, we Ecuadorians assimilate the greatest democratic lesson: that there is no democracy without participation.”
Lasso affirmed that he will be the democratic head of a democratic state and that his strength “will not come from how loud he raises his voice to shout, but from how much I will listen to the people before speaking.”
The Ecuador of the encounter
The president referred to the ” encuentro,” (encounter, or coming together) a word that he promulgated in his campaign and that today was the main one in his speech.
“And it is that the encuentro is not an abstract concept. It is, above all, the certainty that the causes of this Government will be the causes of the people. That the will of the Government will be the will of the people, moved by the same goals and the same hopes,” he said.
Later, on the 40th anniversary of his death, Lasso recalled former President Jaime Roldos Aguilera.
“Today, as we recall one more year of his premature departure, we make our own the words of President Roldós. We take back his promise: water for the people. And not only water, but also essential infrastructure such as roads, lighting, schools, and hospitals,” he said.
Unemployment and trade
The president referred to unemployment and said that women are the most affected and for this he will promote the necessary policies.
“They make us a less free and less fair country, morally tainted. Women’s rights are human rights. And we will put in place all the necessary policies to guarantee them.”
In addition, he announced that from today, Ecuador opens its doors to world trade, to the Pacific Alliance, to free trade agreements.
“Let the world also know that we are committed to the main international consensus to achieve sustainable development,” he said.
The head of state referred to vaccines and said that the country has to mobilize, that is, ministries, public and private hospitals, doctors, nurses, municipalities, parish councils, medical dispensaries
Lasso repeated his campaign promise to get nine million Ecuadorians vaccinated in 100 days.
“As of today, the plan that will aim to vaccinate 9 million people in 100 days comes into force. The renewed Ministry of Public Health will have the direct support of the Vice President of the Republic and the Vaccination Coordination Unit. We will vaccinate without rest because the virus does not rest. Seven days a week, in each province, in each town and parish,” he said.
He asked the National Electoral Council (CNE) to support the vaccination process.
The president called for national unity and indicated that his desire is to witness the parliamentary recovery as the scene of popular sovereignty.
“The promise of full democracy requires that various State agencies, starting with this Assembly, regain their lost powers. Never again concentration of functions in an organism dependent on the will of a person,” he said.