Rafael Correa this Tuesday officially announced his candidacy for the Vice Presidency of Ecuador in the 2021 elections, in which he will be with the young Andres Arauz, a little-known face who aspires to be president and with whom the ex-president seeks to return to the front line of politics and to the country, where he is required by justice.
With a prepared staging, the presidential tandem appeared in a virtual meeting with the participation of the former president from Belgium, where he resides after leaving power in 2017.
Arauz, for his part, who usually resides in Mexico, was accompanied by six members of the coalition promoting the candidacy, “Unión por la Esperanza” (SOME), where there were two women, one of them Afro-descendant, while among the men there was an indigenous leader.
“My ambition has never been a position, a candidacy, not even to win an election. My vital project (has been) my country, to see it out of underdevelopment, with prosperity, justice, joy, that is why I prepared myself, I fought all my life” , assured Correa.
Without directly mentioning the current president, Lenín Moreno, a former political ally and today one of his main detractors, assured that his enemies “did not mind destroying our sacred land” and justified his return to the political arena with those words.
“I accept with joy this new responsibility, that I have not looked for it, I have not even wanted it (and) it implies a great effort,” he argued.
Correa also charged the current Executive, whom he accused of having caused “unnecessary victims of the coronavirus”, as well as others “of a government with criminal negligence,” among which he cited the unemployed and young students.
The former leader also introduced his political partner, a 35-year-old young candidate, an expert in public economics, who briefly served as Head of Culture at the end of the last Correa government and is pursuing a doctorate at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (ONE).
He defined him as one of the “brightest young people” he knows and highlighted the value of renewing his progressive project of the Citizen Revolution with new faces.
Arauz assured that from his ranks “we know how to recover the future” and in a message to Correísmo he launched: “We will stop political persecution, we do not want more deaths, persecution or imprisonment.”
Correa’s political candidacy was long awaited by his most immediate supporters, who were trying to find the ideal candidate to complete the binomial. He was also aware of the evolution of the case “Bribes 2012-2016”, in which he was found guilty of bribery, and sentenced to eight years in prison, in the first and second instance.
The court case concerns an alleged corruption network through which improper contributions were received in the presidential palace for the irregular financing of the ruling Alianza País movement.
On August 7, the defense of the former Ecuadorian president filed an appeal before the National Court of Justice. However, his candidacy now could delay the judicial process temporarily, since electoral candidates have immunity during the process, and there would be no time for a final conviction.
Correa is required by the Ecuadorian justice in another case, that of the kidnapping of opponent Fernando Balda, for which the former intelligence chief Pablo Romero was sentenced last Friday to nine years in prison.
With information from EFE