Correa loyalists may form new party, pledge to vote ‘seven times no’ on referendum
Former president Rafael Correa urged his supporters to form a new political movement if they cannot regain control of Alianza País (AP) from members loyal to President Lenin Moreno. The call came during Sunday’s convention of the Correa faction of AP in Esmeraldas.
In a symbolic gesture, the 1,272 delegates at the meeting expelled Moreno. The delegates also agreed to vote no on all seven questions in the February public referendum promoted by Moreno.
Moreno’s AP supporters boycotted the the convention, calling it “illegitimate and illegal.” The National Electoral Council (CNE) agreed and called the meeting “unsanctioned.”
Correa blasted Moreno for “not following the program” that Correa’s government had established. “He has betrayed the principles of Alianza País and taken the country back 20 years,” he said. “We cannot accept this and must reorganize to fight back.”
The convention was held on the grounds of a hostal outside of Esmerldas after the group was denied use of the fairgrounds owned by the local chamber of commerce. “They have tried to marginalize us but they did not succeed,” said Ricardo Patiña, one of the Correista leaders. “Just as they could not stop of us from holding this meeting, they will not be able to stop us from regaining our country.”
While the convention was in session, several thousand Moreno supporters marched in downtown Esmeraldas carrying signs supporting the referendum and proclaiming, “Fuera Correa, Fuera” (Out Correa, Out)
Correa is scheduled to leave Ecuador today, returning home to Brussels.