Ecuador President Correa hints at 2017 re-election bid
Ecuador President Rafael Correa on Saturday said he may seek re-election in 2017, despite previously supporting constitutional measures limiting the country's leader to only two consecutive terms.
Correa said in his weekly radio address he was considering running for office after local elections last week saw his ruling Alianza Pais party suffer a series of reverses.
In office since 2007, the socialist president, one of the most prominent leftist Latin American leaders, was re-elected in February 2013 for a second four-year term, the last allowed under the constitution.
Correa's party, which has an absolute majority in Ecuador's congress, plans to introduce a constitutional amendment which would allow the leader to stand again.
Correa said any re-election bid was justified to block unspecified international right-wing forces.
"We will not allow the international right to appropriate the state," Correa said.
"We are ready to defend our democratic citizens' revolution."
Under Ecuador's current constitution, which Correa adopted in 2008 after a referendum, elected officials, including the president, may only seek re-election to public office once, for two terms.
"We need to start thinking seriously about the the restrictions we have placed on re-election," Correa said.
After his most recent election, Correa, 50, indicated he had no plans to change the law to run again, suggesting he might move to Belgium, his wife's homeland, when he leaves office.
More recently he has remarked to private media organizations -- which he has accused of trying to topple the government -- that he may stay.