New government takes shape as parties agree on Assembly president; Noboa takes office Nov. 23

Nov 14, 2023 | 0 comments

The three leading parties in Ecuador’s National Assembly, Citizens Revolution, National Democratic Action and the Social Christians, have agreed to support Henry Kronfle as Assembly President. Kronfle, a Social Democrat, was the leading candidate for the post following the 2021 election but lost out when President Guillermo Lasso threw his support to Pachakutik leader Guadalupe Llori.

Social Democrat Henry Kronfle is the leading candidate for the National Assembly presidency.

The agreement appeared in jeopardy last week after former president Rafael Correa was angered when Kronfle announced that he did not support the removal of Attorney General Diana Salazar. Correa called Kronfle a “liar and a hypocrite.”

On Monday, Citizens Revolution leader Pierina Correa, Rafael’s sister, said that differences between the parties had been resolved. “It is time to move forward with the organizational process and prepare to work for the people of Ecuador.” She added that her brother’s disagreement Konfle was a “personal matter, not the Assembly’s business.”

On Monday, newly elected members of the new Assembly received their credentials from the National Electoral Council in preparation of the opening session on Friday.

Meanwhile, the CNE agreed to move the inauguration of President-elect Daniel Noboa ahead a week, to November 23. Leaders of all parties had pushed for the change. “Our time in this session is limited and we need to begin work immediately,” said Valentina Centeno of National Democratic Action. “We need to hit the ground running and we need a president in place to do this.”

Pierina Correa said that Citizens Revolution looked forward to working with Noboa, noting that he had voted with CR on “many occasions” during the last Assembly. “If he brings forward good proposals, we will stand with him, but we will evaluate each one on its merits.”

Despite the agreement between the three parties, incoming Social Christian and National Democratic Action Assembly members said there would not be a Correista majority coalition in the new Assembly. “This will be a very different Assembly than the last one,” said Vicente Taiano of the Social Christians. “We will come together when we agree but will go our separate ways otherwise. This will be a body that must reach consensus through negotiation on most issues. It will not be one bullied by special interests.”

He pointed to the conflict about Salazar as an example. “There are differences of opinion about this but most of us do not favor her impeachment,” he said. “We support the job she is doing and want her to finish her term in 18 months. We will listen to the complaints, but we have heard most of them before and most of them have been resolved.”

Taiano added that issue of reviewing the corruption convictions of Correa and other former government officials is off the table. “I understand Rafael’s personal interests, but these are things to be resolved in the courts, not in the Assembly. We will not be granting immunity to anyone.”

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