Ecuador’s President Moves Forward with Plebiscite, Says He’s No Puppet of Predecessor Correa

Ecuador's President
“We say yes to the plebiscite and the right of the Ecuadorian people to speak up as many times as necessary on the transcendental issues for the country,” President of the National Assembly, José Serrano, said. (Flickr)

EspañolOn Wednesday, November 8, President of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, attended an event in which legislators of the ruling party Alianza País and allied groups expressed their support for him.

During the meeting, which took place at the Carondelet Palace, the Assembly members signed a document confirming their support for a plebiscite proposed by Morena and his administration.

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“We say yes to the plebiscite and the right of the Ecuadorian people to speak up as many times as necessary on the transcendental issues for the country,” President of the National Assembly, José Serrano, said.

Moreno thanked his supporters, saying that he was not a political puppet and won’t defend people who are linked to corruption.

Last week, members of Moreno’s party, including former Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño and former National Assembly President Gabriela Rivadeneira, tried to use Moreno’s absence from a meeting as grounds for expelling him from the party. The split in the country’s ruling party has gone on for some time, growing worse when Moreno criticized Correa earlier this year for leaving the country in a poor economic situation.

It wasn’t until Moreno decided to move forward with a corruption case against Vice President Jorge Glas that the division within Alianza País became more acute. While Correa said he supported Glas and claimed to be “willing to give his life” in defense of the Vice President, Moreno also appointed María Alenadra Vicuña to the position temporarily, believing Glas’ arrest prevented him from performing his duties.

Now, Moreno is moving forward with a plebiscite that will allow the Ecuadorian people voice their opinions on extradition, term limits, and how to deal with corruption and sexual crimes. Correa and his supporters consider it a betrayal of their “Citizen Revolution.”

“They thought that when they chose me as President, that they had chosen a puppet who was going to fulfill the promise I made to take care of my colleagues,” Moreno said. “The thing is that taking care of your colleagues means something very different (to me). Caring for your colleagues means looking out for them if they are innocent. If you break with my principles, don’t look to me for support. The moment you ask me to defend corruption, don’t ask for my support, please.”

Moreno took the opportunity to criticize his predecessor, Rafael Correa, referring to him as “that ‘slow guy’ who thought he was the only one who was destined to rule.” For this reason, Moreno expressed his disagreement with indefinite re-elections: “I believe in the promotion of new values,” he said. “I believe in respecting militancy and a way of respecting militancy is to realize that you are not God’s gift to humanity.

Moreno also said the last years under Correa became sinister because he no longer thought about the country’s best interests, wanting to stay in power or lead massive construction projects when the country struggled with more basic needs like running water.

“I think it’s perverse,” he continued. “I think it’s unworthy to bring in a constitutional amendment, a constitutional amendment that favors me. All I can do is give it to the Ecuadorian people to vote on, but I won’t give it to the Assembly. That would be forcing them. There would be a conflict of interest, and they would pass it to avoid upsetting their leader.”

Sources: La República, Ecuavisa, El Diario, El Telégrafo.

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