Recently released from pre-trial detention, Pichincha Prefect Paola Pabón said Thursday morning that the Citizens Revolution will mount a strong showing in the 2021 national election. “We will honor the ideals of our leader, Rafael Correa, and work to recover the homeland at the polls.”
The campaign to elect a new president and National Assembly begins officially in December with voting to follow February 19, 2021.
Pabón was jailed on charges of rebellion for her alleged role in the October protests but was released December 25 after a judge ruled that the evidence against her did not warrant incarceration before trial.
Speaking to supporters outside the Pichincha prefectura, Pabón said it was time to “put aside hate and revenge” and to work toward unifying Ecuador’s political left. “We have a large task ahead of us before the election and we must focus on building a strong organization,” she said. “We will spread the message that ours is a peaceful revolution and that our only weapon is democracy. We will prepare and form a great coalition of the people with the full intention of regaining political power.”
Appearing with Pabón at the morning rally was former National Assemblyman Virgilio Hernández, who was also charged with rebellion and released from pre-trial detention on Christmas day. Both Pabón and Hernández wear electronic ankle bracelets and must make periodic appearances at the prosecutor’s office until their trial.
In her speech, Pabón again defended her innocence and said she and Hernández were arrested on “bogus charges” and are victims of political persecution.
Following Pabón’s speech, Hernández was asked about the political future of former president Rafael Correa in a radio interivew. “It is unlikely he will serve again as president but I believe he will continue to play a central role in Ecuador’s political life,” he said. “One of our missions is to bring him home but we must first regain power in the Assembly and at the presidential palace.”
Ecuador courts issued an arrest warrant for Correa last year in connection with a 2012 kidnapping case in Colombia but the international police agency Interpol has refused to enforce it, claiming the charges are political, not criminal. Correa currently lives in Belgium where is wife is a university professor.
In his radio interview, Hernández said that Correa continues to perform important work in exile. “He has been busy assisting President [Vladimir] Putin to spread the good word about democracy around the world.”
Correa hosts an interview show on the government-owned Russian news agency, RT (Russia Today).