Former president Rafael Correa said that he is willing to “meet with the devil for the sake of my country” and to heal the split in the Alianza País (AP) movement. A crowd of about 200 cheered the reference to President Lenin Moreno Sunday morning outside Alianza País headquarters on Cuenca’s Plaza Rollo.
Correa said that Moreno had “hjacked” AP and was abandoning the party’s leftist ideals. “He (Moreno) is making deals with the right-wing and undoing 10 years of progress in Ecuador,” he said. “I am here to help take back the movement and restore its health.”
Correa returned to Ecuador Saturday morning and plans to meet with supporters in several cities ahead of a December 3 meeting in Esmeraldas where he says Moreno will be “expelled” from the party. Members of AP loyal to Moreno call the meeting “illegitimate” and say it will be attended only by a splinter group of the movement.
Despite calling Moreno “the devil,” parts of Correa’s speech were conciliatory, emphasizing the need to heal the wounds of AP. “Yes, we can talk to each other, the different sides of the conflict. This is best but we will not sell our souls.”
Correa conceded that there had been cases of corruption during his administration but criticized the current Odebrecht bribery trial for excluding the Odebrecht officials who admitted handing out bribes. “Why are they not on trial?” he asked. “They are at the heart of the scandal.”
The pre-trial judge in the case ruled that prosecuting the officials would violate Ecuador’s double jeopardy law since the officials have already been convicted and are serving prison terms in Brazil.
As he has since charges were first filed, Correa said the prosecution of Vice President Jorge Glas are politically motivated. “He is an innocent man, wrongly accused. There are political interests behind the case and the intention is to seize the vice presidency.”