Former Vice President Lenin Moreno is in Ecuador to evaluate the earthquake relief effort on behalf of the United Nations. On Monday, he toured the disaster area and met with President Rafael Correa and current Vice President Jorge Glas.
Moreno, the UN’s Special Envoy for Disability Rights and Accessibility, is a leading candidate to succeed Correa in next year’s national election, and his visit sparked speculation that he may soon announce his candidacy.
Recent polls show Moreno leading all potential presidential candidates by a large margin and he appears to be Correa’s choice for a successor. Moreno, who describes himself as a center-leftist, would run as a member of Correa’s Alianza Pais party.
Moreno said that his mission is to report back to the UN secretary general on the progress of humanitarian efforts following the April 16 earthquake on Ecuador’s north coast.
In addition to evaluating overall disaster response, Moreno will focus on the special needs of people with disabilities and their families. He will also meet with government representatives to help develop building standards that meet accessibility needs for the disabled.
Moreno, who was confined to a wheelchair following a shooting in 2000, has been a strong advocate for the rights of the handicapped since then. He served as vice president from 2007 to 2012 before accepting the UN special envoy post. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland.