In a Wednesday press conference, President Rafael Correa said he might reconsider his decision not to seek another term as president. “I stand by my decision to leave office in 2017 but I may have second thoughts if the opposition continues its aggressive and extremely rude behavior.”
Even if he decided to run again, Correa would need the Constitutional Court, Ecuador’s highest court, to overturn a constitutional provision that prohibits him from running in the next election. The provision was attached to a constitutional amendment removing term limits for elected offices, including the presidency.
“At the present time, I have no interest in seeking re-election but it all depends on the lies and cowardice of the usual suspects,” he said. “If I change my mind, I would have to petition the court to change the rules and I prefer not to do this,” he said.
In recent weeks, announced presidential candidates Cynthia Viteri and Guillermo Lasso have said they will dismantle many of the programs instituted by Correa’s government and roll back taxes if they are elected.
Meanwhile, a campaign for a referendum urging Correa to run again says it has collected more than 200,000 of the 935,000 signatures necessary to put the issue to a public vote. Correa says he is not supporting the petition drive, “Rafael Contingo Siempre,” but is honored by its organizers’ efforts.
Correa’s Alianza Pais party will nominate a presidential candidate in October for the 2017 election.