The faction of Alianza País (AP) loyal to former president Rafael Correa says it has not given up hope of regaining control of the party. The Electoral Tribunal (TCE) ruled two weeks ago that the faction’s vote to remove President Lenin Moreno from party leadership was illegal and disqualified it from participating in political activity.
On Friday and Saturday dozens of Correistas gathered outside AP headquarters in Quito protesting the TCE’s ruling and demanding that it be reversed. Without legal status, the group led by former Assembly president Gabriela Rivadeneira and former interior minister Ricardo Patiño cannot file a petition to stop Moreno’s public referendum, set for February 4, or register with the National Electoral Council (CNE) to oppose its questions.
Since TCE’s ruling against the Correistas, the CNE has recognized the pro-Moreno faction of AP as legal representatives of the party.
Patiño, who serves as president of the Correistas, continues to insist that Moreno’s action to remove the referendum questions from Constitutional Court review was unconstitutional and want the opportunity to legally challenge the move. Patiño also criticized the court for not issuing its own ruling against Moreno. “The court has abdicated its responsibility by remaining quiet on the issue,” he said. “We demand the right to ask that it review its lack of action.”
On Friday, Rivadeneira reacted to the claim by the legally elected president of AP, Ricardo Zambrano, that the Correistas had emptied the AP bank account of $600,000. “This is a smokescreen to discredit us,” she said. “Let him show the proof.”