An attempt to remove Mines and Energy Minister Eleodoro Mayorga from office failed on Tuesday, as opposition politicians failed to get enough votes in a censure motion. In a previous session last week, the Congress lacked a quorum for the vote because even many proponents of the censure did not turn up.
Over a period of three sessions, Mayorga had to answer 61 questions.
Mayorga has faced calls for his resignation over alleged conflicts of interest with oil and gas companies.
Prior to his appointment as minister earlier this year, Mayorga had worked closely as a consultant with the energy sector.
Opposition lawmakers wanted him removed from the post over an alleged conflict of interest involving a legal case between the State and the oil company Interoil, as well as allegations that a private firm lobbied his office for the elimination of environmental impact studies for some hydrocarbon projects.
Mayorga denies a conflict of interest or any other wrongdoing.
In a vote on Tuesday, after a three hour debate, opposition politicians failed to get the required 66 votes needed to approve the censure motion —lawmakers voted narrowly 38 in favor of the motion and 36 against, with nine abstentions. The remaining 37 members of Congress were not present at the session.
Newspaper Gestion said the vote should now put an end to the dispute between Congress and Mayorga’s continuation in the post.