President says he has ‘lost confidence’ in new Cuenca mayor following rejection of vice mayor candidate

May 20, 2014 | 0 comments

Following the rejection of the Alianza País choice for Cuenca vice mayor, President Rafael Correa says he has lost confidence in Mayor Marcelo Cabrera. On Friday, the city council chose Ruth Caldas for the position over Pais’s Leonardo Berrezueta when Caldas voted for herself and councilwoman Norma Illares abstained. Caldas and Illares were Pais members and were expected by party officials to support Berrezueta.chl correa 16

In the aftermath of the vote, Pais has expelled Caldas and Illares from the party, calling them disloyal, and accused Cabrera of violating an agreement with Correa. Cabrera claims that negotiations with Pais broke down on the issue of Berrezueta’s candidancy and that he has no control over council votes.

The effect on Cuenca of Correa’s anger at Cabrera is unclear, although Pais party officials say that it will have no impact on funding of city projects. Some, however, say there could be a significant impact. “Obviously, being out of the good graces with the federal government is not good and I think Cuenca could feel the impact on future projects, such as the perimeter freeway that Cabrera is promoting,” says Gustavo Calderon a political consultant for a Quito public affairs firm.

The controversy was unexpected since Correa has called Cabrera a friend on more than one occasion. Cabrera, in fact, was an early supporter of Correa and has said he supports most of the president’s programs.

chl cabreraThe apparent switch of Caldas and Illares from the Pais camp means that Alianza Pais has lost its majority on the Cuenca city council. “This is another indication that Pais is losing influence around the country,” Calderon said. “I think some of the anger from Quito about this is a result of this frustration.”

Cuenca city councilwoman Maria Cecilia Alvarado said it was a sad day when democratic governance becomes a matter of “friend or foe.” Correa feels threatened by the loss of power, she suggested, and says it is ironic that the president, often a champion of gender equity, was angry because a women is the new vice mayor.

Former Cuenca mayor, Xavier Muñoz Chavez, says that Alianza País simply made a wrong calculations. “Why is the president micro managing affairs in Cuenca? Doesn’t  he have more important work to do,” he asked.

Cabrera, who says he attempted to contact Ecuador Vice President Jorge Glas to discuss the problem, says he will work with the Quito government and Pais to resolve the controversy. “My intention is to maintain cordial relations with President Correa and the central government.”

Photo captions: President Rafael Correa and Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera


Expat Community News

Dani News

Google ad

Fund Grace News

Gypsy News

Google ad

The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of February 25

Cuenca Finally Gets to Experience Van Gogh Like Never Before.

Read more

Ecuador lost just over a million hectares of forest formations in 38 years.

Read more

Drone Plants 1,500 Trees in 15 Minutes to Combat Deforestation.

Read more

Veronica Arpi News

Hogar Esperanza News


Subscribe to our newsletter

Cuenca High Life offers on-line publications, local translated news, and reports about the expat life and living in Ecuador. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!