Sounding more like the candidate for change than one representing the status quo, Alianza País presidential candidate Lenin Moreno toured a popular Cuenca market on Thursday and addressed supporters at the Jefferson Pérez Colesium.
“Politics need to stop being so ugly in this country,” he told supporters at an informal afternoon meeting. “One of my main missions is to replace insults with tolerance and to expand the dialogue to include more voices on issues that affect peoples’ lives,” he said. He added that some major infrastructure projects have been implemented without a thorough public vetting.
Prior to becoming the candidate for President Rafael Correa’s País party and after serving as vice president, Moreno had criticized Correa’s aggressive style in dealing with political opponents and controversial issues. He said yesterday that he supported “expanded dialogue” before the government makes decisions to award mining concessions. Mining is a controversial topic in Cuenca and Azuay Province, where two large mines have recently begun operation and other concessions are pending.
Moreno also said that Ecuadorian businesses are over-regulated and over-taxed, and said he would support reforms to stimulate the private sector. “We need investment to grow our businesses, not red tape that restricts them,” he said. He meets this morning with a group of Cuenca business leaders.
Moreno had lunch at the 10 de Agosto market, where he talked to vendors and promised to look into issues ranging from university admissions to policies on informal street sales.
Polls show Moreno with leads of as much as 17% over his closest rivals in the race for the presidency. The national election is February 19.