Rafael Correa continues quest for lifetime dictatorial rule over Ecuador
Ecuador's Correa Seeks to Allow Indefinite Re-Election of All Officials
Ecuador's President Asks for Constitutional Amendment
QUITO, Ecuador—Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said Saturday he would ask his legislative block to introduce an amendment to the nation's Constitution to allow indefinite re-election of all elected officials, including the presidency.
"I have decided to request to our block in the Assembly that the Constitution be amended to establish indefinite re-election in all positions of popular election so that the people can choose who continues and who alternates," said Mr. Correa during his speech to the nation at the National Assembly.
However, Mr. Correa said his decision on whether to run again will be decided upon by his political movement Alianza Pais as well as taking into account conditions before the 2017 elections.
Mr. Correa took office in 2007 and quickly set about to change the constitution to allow him to run for another term, which he won in 2009.
Last year he won another re-election until 2017. By the time his current term expires in 2017, Mr. Correa will have governed Ecuador for about 10 years, a record in the Andean country, which had seven presidents during the decade before he took office.
During his speech, Correa said conservative groups are trying to return Ecuador to the past, and people must not give way to the "return of elites."
During his speech Mr. Correa also harshly criticized the media, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force.
"I understand that my life is no longer mine. It is of my people and my country, and I will be where the historical moment requires," said Mr. Correa.
Mr. Correa, a U.S.-trained economist, enjoys strong political capital, with high popularity ratings and an absolute majority in the National Assembly with 100 of the 137 seats.
High oil prices during his government have helped Mr. Correa to maintain strong public spending, a key for the country's economic growth.
Last year the Ecuadorean economy grew 4.5%; and during Mr. Correa's time in office since 2007, the economy has grown by about 5% overall.