Fractures develop in National Assembly alliance between Citizens Revolution and other parties

Feb 22, 2024 | 0 comments

Although party leaders say the agreement to work together in the National Assembly remains intact, sharp division are developing between the Correista Citizens Revolution (RC) bloc, the Social Christians (PSC) and the National Democratic Action (ADN) parties. Increasingly, Citizens Revolution finds itself isolated on such as issues as the criminal code reform currently being debated.

Ecuador’s National Assembly

Assembly President Henry Kronfle, a Social Chrisitian, believes the differences separating Correismo legislators from the other blocs are to be expected. “It is true we have some big differences but this is part of the process of governance,” he said. “Our agendas do not always coincide, but we continue work in a congenial spirit. Obviously, the alliance in this Assembly is not as strong as in the last Assembly.”

Kronfle says that conflicts are also likely to emerge in the upcoming debate of the national budget submitted Monday by President Daniel Noboa.

In the most recent conflict, Citizens Revolution found itself alone in supporting a late change to the bill that will revise the country’s criminal code. Although the Justice Commission approved a measure that would allow the Assembly and other state agencies to review prosecutor and police files of ongoing and completed criminal cases, it was opposed by the Social Christians and ADN and lacks the support to be included in the final legislation.

It is the third time since the new Assembly was seated in November that the Citizens Revolution position met defeat, a sharp contrast from the previous Assembly in which a Correista alliance, which included the Social Christians, prevailed on most issues.

Former president and member of the Assembly’s Patriotic Society Party Lucio Gutierrez, says he is impressed that the coalition of RC, PSC and ADN has functioned as well as it has. “They have worked together on several issues and I imagine they will again after the crime law is finished,” he said. “There was speculation the Correistas would go their separate way when it became clear the old pact with the Social Christians fell apart, but they were not able to put together another coalition. The problem for RC is that they are the major opposition party and it is in their interest to establish a clear agenda in preparation of the next election.”

Rodrigo Jordán, head of the Latin American Center for Crisis Management and Government Communication, agrees with Gutierrez and says there a “high level of frustration” within the Citizens Revolution movement. “They see the popularity of Noboa and understand he holds the upper hand with the Assembly,” he says. “At the same time, they are confronted with a very short election cycle and bad news from the Metastasis corruption investigation. There is a feeling among the ranks that if they do not win the presidency in next election, the movement will begin to fall apart.”

Citizen Revolution Assemblywoman Gissella Garzón disagrees with assessments such as Jordán’s and says her party remains united and looks forward to next February’s election. “We are the strongest party in Ecuador and not only have the largest voting bloc in the Assembly but also the most elected leaders in the provinces and cantons,” she says. “Yes, we face challenges, but we are confident our success will continue into the future.”

Garzón adds: “In the Assembly we will continue to work with other blocs to find the best solutions for Ecuador, but we will not support positions that violate our principles.”

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