ANKARA (AA) - A left-wing political group demanded the removal of Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno from office and early elections to overcome an ongoing political crisis, according to Caracas-based TV channel TeleSur.
Gabriela Rivadeneira, who heads the Citizens’ Revolution, told a news conference Thursday in the capital of Quito that snap elections are needed to allow the country to return to the rule of law.
Rivadeneira urged the National Assembly to hold an extraordinary session to examine the state of emergency and begin the process for the removal of Moreno.
Former members of Moreno’s party, PAIS Alliance, a center-left social democratic group, also demanded early presidential and congressional elections.
Moreno declared a two-month state of emergency Thursday amid protests over the end of decades-old fuel subsidies, as part of a $2 billion government reform package.
A nationwide strike by transport workers and taxi drivers against the elimination of the subsidies led to protest and violence.
The president said his Cabinet is determined not to change the decision on "those perverse subsidies that were damaging the country."
Interior Minister Maria Romo said 19 people have been arrested due to the protests.
Moreno blames the deterioration in Ecuador’s economy on his predecessor, Rafael Correa, who has sought asylum in Belgium. The government blames him of kidnapping a political opponent in 2012 during his presidency.
Ecuador, a country straddling the equator on South America’s west coast, has seen numerous street protests in the past, forcing the resignation of three presidents.