News Release

In Ecuador, Move to Keep Former President off Ballot Denounced


More than 20 former presidents and high-level government officials in Latin America are “denounc[ing] and reject[ing] the decision made by the National Election Council of Ecuador to eliminate the electoral registration of the party Fuerza Compromiso Social, which is partly formed by the members of the Revolución Ciudadana [Citizens’ Revolution] movement, led by former President Rafael Correa,” saying “This act of political bias calls into question the legitimacy of the election that will take place on February 7, 2021 in Ecuador. …”

GUILLAUME LONG, via Dan Beeton,
Guillaume Long is a senior policy analyst at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining CEPR, he held several cabinet positions in the government of Ecuador, including Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Culture, and Minister of Knowledge and Human Talent. Most recently, he served as Ecuador’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva.

Long is one of the signers of the Puebla Group statement condemning the CNE’s actions barring Correa’s party from the ballot. He said today: “In an outrageously antidemocratic move, on July 19, Ecuador’s CNE [National Electoral Council] suspended former president Rafael Correa’s party, FCS [Fuerza Compromiso Social], from the register of political parties. This decision followed pressure by the central government, the Attorney General’s Office, and the State Comptroller’s Office.

“This means that, as things currently stand, candidates from FCS, and thereby from Correa’s Citizens’ Revolution, will not be able to run in February 2021’s presidential and legislative elections.

“The CNE’s move went back on eight previous decisions ratifying FCS’s legitimacy and legal status as a political party. FCS was already an established party, which had competed in three national elections.

“The FCS’s suspension follows a series of legally questionable efforts to slap Correa with dubious criminal charges, which, if upheld, could see Correa barred from the ballot as a candidate in the upcoming elections, even aside from the FCS party suspension. Correa had been planning a run for vice president, and had been leading in polls. The prosecution’s case against Correa relies mostly on testimony from former Correa advisor Pamela Martinez, who claimed to have accepted bribes in 2013 and 2014, with Correa’s knowledge, from several people. Martinez presented a notebook detailing these transactions down to the dollar and the exact date — all written, incredibly, from memory during a 45-minute plane trip from Quito to Guayaquil years later, in 2018.

“Unsurprisingly, few people familiar with the facts of the case, and who are not aligned with the prosecution or the current government, headed by President Lenín Moreno, have found this evidence credible.

“The Moreno government, meanwhile, has become increasingly unpopular due to its notorious mismanagement of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which led to bodies piling up on the streets of Guayaquil earlier this year, and due to its commitment to IMF-supported austerity policies that prioritize the interests of foreign creditors over health spending and other social needs — even in the midst of the pandemic.

“Moreno had been Correa’s vice president, but turned to the right once in office, reversing many policies of the Correa administration that had prioritized the needs of Ecuadorian citizens over foreign investors, and which had fostered Latin American unity over U.S.-Ecuadorian relations. Moreno has pursued a series of IMF agreements, Washington-backed cuts in spending programs, and foreign policy maneuvers aimed at pleasing the Trump administration (including the hand-over of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to British authorities).”