Claiming that Lenin Moreno has “set Ecuador back 15 years,” former president Rafael Correa said Wednesday that he is considering returning to the country to run for office. Prohibited by the constitution from seeking another term as president, Correa said he might run as a vice-presidential candidate or for a seat in the National Assembly.
Correa called the idea of his return to Ecuador “a proposal” at this point, since he faces arrest if he sets foot in the country. A resident in Belgium since leaving office in 2017, the ex-president is wanted for failure to appear at a court hearing about an attempting kidnapping in Colombia that occurred during his presidency. Correa calls his illegal status “an act of political persecution.”
If the charges against him are dropped, Correa said he would lead a campaign to restore the “Citizen Revolution” that he oversaw from 2006 to 2017. “The important thing is to fulfill the historic role of recovering the homeland,” he said in a radio interview in Brussels. Correa added that if he returns he would lead an effort to rewrite the constitution.
Correa said he is “encouraged” by the case of former Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who has announced her intention of run again for president. Like Correa, Fernández faces legal charges and may be prevented from running by the courts.
In his comments, Correa accused Moreno of criminal activity and said he should go to prison. “In the case of the current president, we are talking about a very serious corruption case. The man must be locked up,” Correa said in reference to the so-called INA papers involving the off-shore banking activities of Moreno’s brother.
Correa conceded that supporters of the Citizens Revolution must find fresh faces for the attempt to retake control of the government. “We need to add new members with new ideas to our cause if we are to succeed in the future,” he said.
Correa claims he had no intention of running for office again when he left the presidency two years ago. “My desire was to retire from politics but if I am needed to restore legitimacy to government I will make myself available,” he said.