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Friday, March 23, 2018

Ecuador stands under the banner of Lenin

Leftist ideas seem to retain their enchantments in Latin America. Unlike Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, the left is still popular in Ecuador, where the first round of the presidential election was won by a man named Lenin or Lenin Voltaire Moreno Garces. He also intends to build socialism, albeit with some local peculiarities.

As it became clear on Monday, a protege of the outgoing President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, candidate Lenin Moreno won the first round of Sunday’s elections. By results of processing of 80.8% of the ballots Moreno scored the 38,88% of the vote. His closest rival, the representative of the opposition centre-right movement KREO-SCRIP Guillermo Lasso scored 28.5 per cent, reported RIA “Novosti”.

“During the presidency of Rafael Correa has managed to reduce poverty in the country and to increase the accessibility of health and education”

To win in the first round a candidate must receive either more than 50% of the vote, or 40%, but ahead of the opponent by 10%. If none of the candidates that fails, they go to the second round of elections, which is expected in Ecuador, 2 April. However, it is still unclear whether there is a need, as the counting continues.

Moreno himself has hastened to declare himself the winner of the first round and urged his opponent to accept defeat. “I believe that we will reach 40%”, – he said.

We will remind, Lenin Voltaire Moreno Garces, a lawyer and politician, the candidate of the ruling left bloc “Alianza país” (“Country Alliance”). Its unusual two names – Lenin Voltaire Moreno received from his father, a teacher by profession, who idealized the Russian revolution.

In 1998, the politician became the victim of an attack of robbers, and since then he has paralyzed legs, he moves in a wheelchair. However, this did not prevent him to lead the activities of the state. In 2007-2013, he served as Vice President of Ecuador. C 2013, special envoy of the UN Secretary-General on disability issues. The struggle for the rights of people with disabilities has become an important part of the campaign Moreno. In addition, it supports the continuation of the socially oriented policy of the current President, in particular improving access to quality education, and in foreign policy – active promotion of Ecuadorian products abroad.

For its part, the center-right of the Lasso promises to create one million jobs in four years. Policies in favour of development of entrepreneurship and attraction of foreign investment.

A few days before the election, several well-known in Ecuador, the figures received a package in the mail with explosive devices. In particular, the Chairman of Parliament Gabriel Rivadeneira and two TV presenters – Janet Hinostroza working on Teleamazonas, and Estefani Espin with the TV station Ecuavisa. In all three cases, the bombs did not explode or they managed to defuse in time. Police have launched an investigation.

“Bolivarist so easily from the authorities do not refuse”

Leading researcher of the Institute of Latin American Emil Dabagyan believes that President Correa chose Moreno as his successor as the most popular candidate.

“Moreno is a bright image of the politician in a wheelchair and famous in the world”, – the expert said in comments the newspaper VIEW. From the point of view Dabagyan, it is strange that Correa decided not to run for a third time. “In itself “Alianza país” is in friendly relations with other Bolivarian regimes in Latin America. What Correa refused to run, can talk about some serious changes, resulting in the country. The Bolivarians just usually the authorities do not refuse. There is a theory that he further to varying degrees, are going to take part in the political struggle”, – said the expert.

Professor, school of international relations St. Petersburg state University, Lazar Kheifets, in turn, notes that in General the ideology of PAIS differs significantly from bolivarism Hugo Chavez, Nicolas Maduro and Evo Morales. “To carry out the transformation based on the ideology of “socialism of the XXI century”, Correa has somewhat better and quieter than the neighbouring Bolivia and Venezuela,” – said the expert newspaper VIEW.

Heifetz noted a number of challenges faced Correa for years of Board. “He was accused in the relationship with the ruling elite of Venezuela, was the confrontation with Colombia on the basis of support for Ecuador rebels FARC (FARC) and the “national liberation Army”. In addition, Correa a difficult relationship with the press, which brings down on him a torrent of criticism, in particular accusing him that he sat in the presidential chair,” he said. The expert is not convinced of the sincerity of the official reasons for the refusal Correa from participation in the presidential race. In any case, says Heifetz, his decision to leave and promise after the election to go to Belgium clears the press in the absence of the change of power in the country.

The government have thrown a Lasso

Emil Dabagyan also reported that, in addition to the KREO-SCRIP, in opposition are the various Christian denominations. “If there is a second round and the opposition will manage to unite around the candidate, Guillermo Lasso, no one knows how this election will end. However, I doubt that in the case of the second round the opposition will be able to speak with one voice” – the expert believes.

In General, noted Dabaghyan, the electoral situation in Ecuador is traditional for such States: provided people support the opposition, the lower classes who got a lot from the ruling Alliance, support the authorities. “During the presidency of Rafael Correa has managed to reduce poverty, increase access to health and education,” he explained.

Heifetz also questioned the ability of the opposition to present a United front. “Lasso already said about the necessity of creation of the opposition coalition. But the problem is that the opposition in Ecuador is fragmented, the spectrum of opposition candidates there is diverse, and there is no absolute certainty that they will want to maintain a Lasso,” he believes.

Assange makes sense to root for Lenin

According to Heifetz, fate had taken refuge in the Ecuador Embassy WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange also depend on the outcome of the race. “Lenin Moreno, although he has not said on this subject, will be forced to continue the policies of Correa, granted Assange political asylum. But the main opposition – and a Lasso, and Cynthia Viteri – ready if not to extradite Assange directly, then at least to consider this question”, – the expert believes.

Recall that Australian journalist and broadcaster Julian Assange in 2012, he received political asylum in Ecuador, and since then is in territory of Embassy of Ecuador in London.


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