Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso said Friday he would not seek another term in snap elections called for August after he dissolved Congress to avoid an impeachment trial.
Elections have been called for August 20, just over two years after conservative former banker Lasso came to power.
Last month, he issued a decree dissolving the opposition-controlled legislature, a day after it opened an impeachment trial against him for allegedly allowing corruption in state-owned companies.
It was the first time a president in Ecuador has done so.
“After deep reflection, I want to announce that I will not accept the nomination for the presidency of the Republic for the August elections,” Lasso, 67, announced Friday.
His popularity is at a record low of 10 percent, according to polling.
More than 13 million people in the South American country of just over 18 million will be eligible to vote in August.
Experts have said the snap elections will likely benefit the left-wing opposition and their exiled leader Rafael Correa, a former president (2007-17) who escaped to Belgium to avoid serving an eight-year corruption sentence.
The political instability comes as Ecuador is enduring a spike in violence related to drug trafficking, as well as widespread anger over the rising cost of living.