Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso said Friday that a coup plot is being orchestrated by the leaders of this month's anti-government protests, who hours earlier said they would seek to oust him via a vote in the unicameral National Assembly.
In a nationwide television and social media address, the conservative head of state alerted the international community to an "attempt to destabilize democracy in Ecuador."
He made those remarks after Leonidas Iza - chief promoter of the protests and president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), the Andean nation's largest indigenous organization - said the left-wing, indigenist Pachakutik movement, Conaie's political arm, may request a vote in parliament on ousting Lasso.
The president lamented that Iza made that announcement after his administration had accepted his request to allow the indigenous movement to enter and install a "popular assembly" in Quito's House of Ecuadorian Culture, an indigenous cultural center.
That demand was one of several made by the Conaie chief as preconditions for talks with the government.