Moreno splits with Correa over media law, favors greater press freedom

Mar 7, 2017 | 2 comments

Alianza País presidential candidate Lenin Moreno said Monday that he will loosen restraints on the media if he is elected. During a radio interview in Guayaquil, Moreno said he will liberalize the controversial communications law that critics claim President Rafael Correa has used to restrict freedom of speech.

Presidential candidate Lenin Moreno

“My position is different than President’s Correa’s,” Moreno said. “I favor the greatest possible freedom of expression as long as it is exercised responsibly. I want good relations with the press and broadcast media and will support their rights even if they disagree with me.”

In 2014, Moreno criticized Correa’s reaction to a series of political cartoons by Bonil published in the Guayaquil newspaper El Universo. Bonil was publicly attacked by Correa for images critical of the government and was forced to “retract” one cartoon by Supercom, a government media monitor created by the communication law. El Universo was fined $95,000.

A Bonil cartoon Rafael Correa objected to.

Moreno maintained that Bonil had the right under the constitution to express his opinion and that Correa was wasting his time fighting with a cartoonists.

Moreno’s opponent, Guillermo Lasso, has pledged to repeal the communication law entirely if he is elected.

Moreno’s campaign received the endorsement Monday from the center-left Centro Democratico party, but it came with a qualification. “We support Lenin Moreno personally but not his party,” said Jimmy Jairala, prefect of Guayas Province. “Moreno is a very decent, ethical, and tolerant candidate, dedicated to dialogue. On the other hand, we do not support the comments and attitudes of President Rafael Correa and other members of Alianza País.”

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