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Ecuador's Parliament Votes to Dismiss President


Ecuador's parliament has voted to remove the country's president from office, as massive demonstrations continue in the capital.

Sixty lawmakers in the 100-seat chamber voted Wednesday to oust President Lucio Gutierrez on the grounds that he has abandonned the duties of his office. Congress named Vice President Alfredo Palacio to take over.

High-ranking defense officials said the armed forces have also withdrawn their support of the president.

Busloads of Gutierrez supporters, armed with machetes and guns, tried to drive into the center of Quito Wednesday, but were blocked by thousands of anti-government protesters.

Overnight, between 30,000 and 50,000 anti-Gutierrez demonstrators were turned back by police using tear gas. One person was killed and nearly 100 injured. A second person was killed today when struck by a car.

Last week, the president dissolved Ecuador's Supreme Court and declared a state of emergency after days of protests.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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