Ecuador Congress Chooses Indigenous Party Lawmaker as Leader

Ecuador’s National Assembly elected Guadalupe Llori of the indigenous Pachakutik party president of the legislature for the next two years on the second day of voting after weeks of back-room dealing.

In its opening session, Llori, her party’s first-ever president of congress, received support from her party, the social democratic Izquierda Democratica party and conservative Movimiento Creando Oportunidades, or CREO, in a divided congress where no party has an outright majority.

Virgilio Saquicela of Democracia Si, a party that had endorsed conservative President-elect Guillermo Lasso, was elected first vice president, and Bella Jimenez of Izquierda Democratica second vice president with the votes of those parties and independents, pointing to a working coalition for Lasso, who congratulated Llori via Twitter.

The working majority represents a turnaround for Lasso, who saw the number of legislators backing him fall to just 12 after his coalition with the Social Christian Party, or PSC, fell apart on Friday.

Lasso is scheduled to take office May 24. He narrowly defeated Pachakutik candidate Yaku Perez to reach a runoff and win the presidency.

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