President Rafael Correa presents what is likely to be his last report to the nation this morning in Quito. His office says that reconstruction of Ecuador’s earthquake-ravaged north coast will be the main topic.
Correa will deliver the annual report with his popularity at its lowest level since he took office nine years ago. Two polls show his approval rating below 30% while the Cedatos – Gallup poll, traditionally the most accurate in predicting election results, gives him 39% approval. Since his last report to the nation, the country has entered an economic recession, witnessed a number of large anti-government protests, and been hit by one of the worst earthquake in history.
Correa’s current term ends in April 2017.
Officials had considered postponing today’s address until June for fear of aftershocks from the April 16 earthquake but decided last week to keep today’s date. Correa’s address will be held in the main National Assembly hall in Quito. About 1,000 are expected to attend.
In last year’s report, Correa’s announcement of new taxes on inheritance and capital gains was met with weeks of protests, one drawing almost 200,000 in Guayaquil. Although he eventually withdrew the tax proposals, it was the July visit of Pope Francis that effectively ended the protests.
In addition to recounting accomplishments of his administration, Correa will discuss details of earthquake reconstruction in today’s address.