'Citizens' Revolution' Wins Out in Ecuador: Leftist President Correa Secures Third Term
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Hernández noted that significant progress has already been made, but social welfare, health and education are permanent issues on the government’s agenda. Work is needed to “ensure the full enjoyment of rights and social welfare” by all Ecuadorians, and achieve greater wealth distribution, with “more equality and social justice”.
Nonetheless, economic performance will be decisive in determining whether the Correa administration will retain its level of popularity, Hernán Ramos, a political and economic analyst, told IPS.
Ramos believes that one of the key factors of the president’s stability is the steady growth of GDP, fuelled by favourable oil prices, increasing government revenue and a high level of domestic consumption.
The government’s “project would suffer if the economy’s stability were to waver” for any reason, even an international crisis, Ramos cautioned.
In terms of politics, the analyst observed that Correa’s three victories at the polls had succeeded in dealing a mortal blow to a political leadership that was “historically responsible for the crises that dragged the country down”, as with this new win “the opposition has been broken”.
Unlike in 2007, when he took office for the first time, Correa now has several advantages. Firstly, the political experience gained after six years at the country’s helm; secondly, the strength gathered by his movement; and thirdly, ironclad media protection (in the form of a media regulatory body created in a 2011 referendum to stop media excesses), Ramos explained.
The president had promised that this would be the last time he ran, as he considered it in the country’s “best interest”. However, his movement lacks a figure strong enough to replace him after this term, a political weakness that could be overcome by AP if “it succeeds in grooming new leaders that can at least consolidate its political leadership in the country”, Ramos said.
Counting elections and referendums, Correa achieved his ninth victory at the polls on Sunday and holds an indisputable leadership after six years in which, in his own words, he “re-founded the nation” with a new constitution in 2008 that launched an era of good living and turned the state into the leading economic and political agent.
When his third term is up in 2017, Correa will have completed a decade in power.