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Ecuador Vice-President resigns amid kickbacks turmoil 

Quito, December 5

Ecuador’s Vice-President has resigned over allegations by a former aide she took kickbacks which serving as a lawmaker five years ago.

Maria Alejandra Vicuna announced her resignation on Tuesday on Twitter, saying the South American country did not deserve the “instability” caused by the crisis.

It came a day after President Lenin Moreno distanced himself, suspending her from the post to allow her time to fight the allegations.

In Ecuador, the Vice-President can only be sacked through an impeachment process in the National Assembly, which last week called on her to resign.

Vicuna has been in the post for just over a year. She replaced Moreno’s running mate, Jorge Glas, convicted and jailed over his involvement in the massive Odebrecht bribes scandal. 

The allegations against Vicuna come from a former aide, Angel Sagbay, who said last week that while working as Vicuna’s advisor in 2012 and 2013 he regularly banked deposits—totalling around $20,000 — in Vicuna’s account that he claims were kickbacks.

Prosecutors are investigating the corruption allegations and Vicuna said she was confident she will be cleared by the courts. 

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