The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Search this edition Search query Go Thursday, April 23rd 2009 - 9:49 pm UTC Correa and his revolution poised for easy re-election in Ecuador

Mercopress, Thursday, April 23rd 2009

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa is poised to easily win re-election on Sunday, according to the latest public opinion polls which show he has about 50% support and way ahead of his seven rivals.

Correa needs to score more than 40% of valid cast votes and a ten percentage point margin to avoid a run-off vote with the second-placed candidate. His closest two contenders are former president Lucio Gutierrez and millionaire Alvaro Noboa.

Correa who defines himself as Socialist (with a strong Catholic education) and former economy minister remains widely popular --despite the global economic downturn-- because of his plans to help the poor and pledges to battle a political old guard many blame for Ecuador's chronic instability.

The US-trained economist was elected late in 2006 and has now outlasted his last three predecessors, who were ousted after street protests and political turmoil in the world's top banana exporter.

“Nobody is going to stop this revolution which is moving ahead strongly” said Correa earlier this week at the closing rally of his campaign.

A government-controlled constitutional assembly called for the April 26 ballot last year to further consolidate Correa's policies and influence over state institutions and the economy.

The opposition initially refused to participate in the vote because it felt Correa controlled the process, but it later reversed course. Hundreds of seats at the municipal, provincial and national levels also are up for grabs on Sunday.

If re-elected to a fresh four-year term, Correa is expected to maintain his aggressive stance against foreign investors and populist policies even as the country reels from the impact of the global financial crisis.

Cedatos-Gallup's last poll in early April showed Correa with 49% support, while Noboa and Gutierrez had 13 and 15 percent respectively.

“We’ve managed quite well this crisis which is not of our making, but some would have liked to see the national government fail, but we haven’t and it won’t happen”, said Correa to the cheering crowd, emphasizing the social policies of his administration.

“First of all our people, the social sectors, then servicing debt…for the first time in decades servicing social policies and investment is far higher than servicing our foreign debt”, added the president. Ecuador suspended service payment of some sovereign bonds alleging they were “illegitimate” and offered a repurchase with a 70% face value discount.

“At last power is in the hands of its legitimate owners, the Ecuadorean people and above all the poorest of our people”, he underlined.

OPEC member Ecuador exports half a million barrels per day and is one of the poorest countries of the South American continent.

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