QUITO – Ecuador’s head of state Lenin Moreno said on Wednesday that the country’s former second-ranking official had been constitutionally stripped of his position as vice president.
Moreno said at the start of a Cabinet meeting that Jorge Glas ceased to hold his office at midnight Tuesday, or three months after he was placed in pre-trial detention on Oct. 2 as part of a corruption probe.
Glas was sentenced to six years in prison on Dec. 13 after being found guilty of taking $13.5 million in bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht in return for his assistance in securing government contracts.
His defense team says he plans to appeal the verdict.
Prior to his arrest, the two men had had a falling out, with Glas having accused Moreno of seeking to undo the legacy of his predecessor and mentor, leftist Rafael Correa.
The constitution allows a vice president to be absent from his post for a maximum of three months.
Under Ecuadorian law, the unicameral National Assembly is to choose from among a list of three possible vice presidential replacements provided by Moreno.
The president said he had 15 days to provide that slate but would do so sooner.