Rebooting the Ecuadoran Economy Should Be Top Priority for New Administration. - Vol. 27 Nbr. 4, February 2018 - NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs - Books and Journals - VLEX 702439637

Rebooting the Ecuadoran Economy Should Be Top Priority for New Administration.

Author:Saavedra, Luis Angel

Ecuadoran President Lenm Moreno should concentrate on cleaning up the economy now that no obstacles stand on his way. His former vice president, Jorge Glas, is serving a six-year prison sentence for organizing a corruption network to the Brazilian giant Odebrecht (NotiSur, Sept. 8, 2017, and Nov. 10, 2017). Moreno's political party, Alianza Pa^s (AP), is now under his complete control, as former President Rafael Correa and his followers have left the ruling party to start a new political organization. The National Assembly has a pro-administration majority. It appears that the referendum Marrero has called for Feb. 4 will easily succeed. And social organizations have called a truce while they wait to see where Moreno's policies are headed.

In this scenario, Moreno has no pretext to abandon the goals laid out during his campaign, especially that of implementing necessary conditions for the Ecuadoran economy to begin to grow.

Alianza Pais' burden

The political hegemony Correa maintained for 10 years has fallen to pieces in the last seven months amid scandals of corruption involving his main collaborators. These scandals also threaten to touch him: It makes no sense that Correa would have remained unaware of the irregularities that plagued projects that were carried out during his administration and managed by his top officials. Correa is still defending Glas, who was his last vice president.

In addition to a six-year prison term, Glas faces new accusations that could lead to additional time in prison. Under those circumstances, the Constitution called for the National Assembly to name his replacement. It chose Maria Alejandra Vicuna Munoz, 39, a clinical psychologist who began her political career next to Rafael Correa and was considered one of his most loyal followers during her time in the National Assembly between 2009 and 2017. She had been Moreno's minister of urban development and housing and became acting vice president after Glas' arrest (NotiSur, Nov. 10, 2017).

Vicuna's recent political decisions have been similar to those made by several leaders of the now-divided AP, the movement that led Correa and Moreno to victories in 2006 and 2017, respectively. Both factions asked for recognition from the country's top election authority, the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE), which eventually decided to recognize the faction of the AP led by Moreno.

The CNE decision caused Correa and other founding members of the AP to leave the party. Some 28 Assembly...

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