Quito, Jan 16 (EFE) .- Strengthening employment and repowering the health system were the priorities set out by the 16 candidates for the Presidency of Ecuador, who participated this Saturday in the first part of a debate called by the National Electoral Council ( CNE), which will continue on Sunday.
It was the first time that all the candidates were firmly qualified, since in the meetings held since last weekend by the El Comercio group and by the Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce, three candidates were absent.
For the center-right candidate Guillermo Lasso, putting “the economy in order” will generate confidence for investment, lower country risk and this will lead to a reduction in bank interest rates.
He said that this drop in rates does not depend on the arrival of foreign banks, since institutions of this type already operate in Ecuador, and insisted that these percentages are not falling now because the economy “does not generate confidence.
Leader of the CREO movement, Lasso offered to generate two million jobs if he achieves the support of citizens at the polls on February 7.
Political analysts see it possible that Lasso will go to a second round with candidate Andrés Arauz, akin to former president Rafael Correa (2007-2017), a follower of XXI Century Socialism.
Arauz assured that he will fight against tax evasion and insisted on his proposal to give a thousand dollars to a million families in his first week in office, money that, he said, will obtain from the repatriation of state resources that the Central Bank has in the Foreign.
The indigenous candidate Yaku Pérez (Pachakutik) offered to create one million jobs, strengthen the agricultural sector, fight against tax evasion and create incentives to attract capital to the country.
In the search for income in the midst of the severe economic crisis in Ecuador, candidate César Motúfar (Concertación), proposes the creation of a tax on those who have more than one million dollars in assets, while Xavier Hervas (Democratic Left) proposes to inject liquidity into the productive apparatus, supported by international development banks.
The only presidential candidate, Ximena Peña (Alianza País), wants to tackle unemployment with a proposed payroll copayment, a state commitment to finance a percentage of the salary of the jobs created in SMEs for young people, women and over 50 years.
Gerson Almeida (United Ecuadorian), Gustavo Larrea (Democracia Sí) and Isidro Romero (Avanza) propose to pay more attention to the agricultural sector to boost employment and production.
Former President Lucio Gutiérrez (2002-2005 / Sociedad Patriótica) proposes to attract foreign banks, lower “mega-salaries” in the State, reduce interest rates, support agriculture and lower the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 12 to 10 percent.
Guillermo Celi (Suma), who calls himself “the president of employment,” plans to lower the VAT from 12 to 8% for at least one year, and create a development bank.
The candidate Giovanny Andrade (Ecuadorian Union) is committed to mining development, as he believes that oil will lose weight in the world economy, while Pedro Freire (Friend) will encourage the arrival of international banks to promote competition, and will support the entrepreneurs and agribusiness.
Carlos Sagñay (FE) argues that there is not enough direct foreign investment in the country because it is too expensive for production, which does not allow it to be competitive, so it will look for mechanisms to lower interest rates and reach international levels .
Paúl Carrasco (Juntos Podemos) proposes to support citizens with a restructuring of bank debts and Juan Fernando Velasco affirms that the economic reactivation must start from attention to the most serious problem of the moment: the pandemic.
In their campaigns, the candidates have agreed on the need to repower the public health system, which has revealed serious problems during the covid-19 pandemic.
Based on 810,843 PCR samples taken in a country with more than 17 million inhabitants, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 230,808 positives for covid and 14,316 deaths, distributed in 9,711 confirmed by coronavirus and 4,605 probably related to that disease.
For Velasco (Construye) “the most relevant thing” to achieve the reactivation of the economy is to achieve the vaccination of the entire population against the covid, free of charge.
In his appearance, Arauz said he already had a vaccination schedule for the population, while Montúfar spoke of the need to promote a regional negotiation for the acquisition of the drug.
Hervas sponsors that private participation be allowed in the supply of the vaccine to the population and that for every hundred administered, ten are delivered to the State for the most vulnerable, while Peña was blunt that vaccination should not be “privatized” but which must be universal and free.
In the appearance of the candidates for the Presidency, which lasted more than three hours, Celi said that in the administration of the vaccine, priority should be given to front-line personnel, and Andrade advocated the free doses.
(c) EFE Agency