Any similarities between Correa and Castro are purely intentional.
Ecuador’s President may seek ultimate job security: indefinite reelection
Ecuador’s president is pushing constitutional reforms that might allow him to join the ranks of Venezuela and Nicaragua and vie for indefinite reelection.
QUITO, Ecuador — Franklin D. Roosevelt had it, so did Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and so does Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega. Could Ecuador’s Rafael Correa be the next president to win the right to consecutive and indefinite reelection?
That’s the question the country’s constitutional court is debating, and the answer could radically change the future of this Andean nation of 16 million.
After years of vowing that he wouldn’t seek office when his term ends in 2017, Correa recently announced that his Alianza País political party would push for a constitutional amendment that would open the gates for the charismatic socialist to keep his job permanently.
Stung by recent municipal elections where his party lost key cities, including the capital, Correa said the change is needed to preserve the advances of his “Citizens’ Revolution.”
“My sincere position was always against reelection,” he told the country recently, “but after deep reflection, and knowing that sometimes our choices are between the lesser of two evils, I’ve decided to support this initiative.”
For his critics, permanent reelection is simply one more step in the country’s slow march toward Venezuelan-style 21st Century Socialism with Correa at the helm.
“Democracy is based fundamentally on alternating power,” former President Lucio Gutierrez, who was ousted in a popular uprising in 2005, told the Miami Herald. “When power becomes eternal so does corruption, because there’s no accountability, no respect for human rights and no respect for those who are out of power.”
Scrapping term limits is one of 17 reforms that Alianza País submitted to the court, which has until August to decide if the changes can be approved by congress or require a national referendum.
Correa wants the changes to go through the legislature, where his party can guarantee him the two-thirds majority needed to pass the amendment, and most analysts believe the administration-friendly court will grant him his wish.
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