Ecuador: Correa appears to have trouble relinquishing power (opinion)

Posted on May 28, 2014 • Filed under: Latin America News /Raul Gallegos wrote Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa appears to have joined the club of Latin American populists who have trouble relinquishing power. Correa announced over the weekend that he aims to change the constitution so that he — and any other Ecuadorian public official — can run for re-election any number of times.
Correa, however, is far from a perfect president. He has made Ecuador far too reliant on Chinese money and on high oil prices. His big-government approach has discouraged private-sector and foreign investment. He pushed through a law to muzzle the media. More dangerously, he retained the power to supersede laws promoting fiscal prudence, allowing him the financial wherewithal to buy off voters.

Scratching term limits in a resource-rich nation like Ecuador is especially dangerous because politicians can buy voter allegiance to perpetuate their mandate, as Chavez did in Venezuela.

Regardless of how well Ecuador has done under his presidency, giving Correa what he wants would hurt its democracy. It would say to Ecuadorians that, despite the semblance of a liberal government, a powerful president can still change the rules for political convenience. Read Full Article


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