Although the leadership of Aliazna País (AP) publicly opposes many of his policies, President Lenin Moreno continues to build an impressive base of public support in Ecuador.
On Saturday, large crowds gathered outside the presidential palace in Quito, awaiting Moreno’s appearance for the traditional changing of the guard ceremony. Many hoisted banners of support, “Lenin, we are with you,” being the most common.
With polls showing Moreno’s popularity as high as 85%, some members of AP say it’s time for party leaders, many of whom claim that Moreno has abandoned the principles and programs of former president Rafael Correa, to end their attacks. “We need to recognize that times and circumstances have changed and Lenin reflects those changes,” says Pichincha Province prefect Gustavo Baroja. “It is true that President Correa achieved great works for the country and that he was a great leader, but we cannot live in the past.”
Baroja has a message for the “Correistas”, including Vice President Jorge Glas, who have called Moreno a “traitor” to the legacy of Correa. “Either you join the new wave of AP, or get out,” he wrote in a letter last week. “We need a vision for 10, 20 and 30 years in the future, not toward an old ideology.”
As attacks from AP leadership on Moreno have intensified in recent weeks, some of the founders of AP, are coming to the president’s defense. “Alianza País was born to fight centralized power, to exercise a model of horizontal leadership and to give voice to the citizenship,” says William Murillo, former AP secretary for migrant affairs. “We need to support the president in restoring AP’s original principles.”
Murillo and a dozen other founders and former leaders of AP plan to meet this week in Quito to plan strategies to support Moreno.
The Unified Federation of Peasant and Popular Organizations of Southern Ecuador, which supported Correa during his presidency, is one of a number of civic and political organizations coming to Moreno’s support. “We don’t understand why some in AP oppose Lenin,” says federation president José Cumbicus. “He is continuing the work for the poor of Ecuador and he is putting the corrupt in jail.”
The Ecuador Center for the Promotion of Women is another group supporting Moreno. “The president supports the rights of women much more than Correa did,” says center president Lilia Rodríguez. “He understands the importance of stopping sexual violence and he is listening to our position. He is restoring the human rights not just for women, but for all Ecuadorians.”
Other groups, including those representing labor, teachers, the disabled and the retired, have also come forward to support Moreno.
“It is time that the leadership of AP join the people of Ecuador,” says Baroja. “If they don’t, they risk becoming irrelevant.”