According Bolivian President Evo Morales, the reason Rafael Correa is leaving the Ecuadorian presidency at the end of his current term is for his family.
Under terms of a constitutional amendment expected to be passed in December by Ecuador’s National Assembly, Correa would be allowed to run again in the 2017 election.
Morales, who has talked to Correa on a number of occasions about the decision not to seek another term, says that Correa is concerned about the impact his work has had on his family. “He is putting the interests of the family, especially his wife, first and I respect this,” Morales said. Morales said that Correa feels that his job has “estranged” him from the family.
“Personally, I have decided to put the interests of my country first but understand there is a toll on my family,” says Morales, who is expected to run again in Bolivia if a public referendum passes allowing it. “Rafael has made another decision.”
Correa has said in the past that he had made a promise to his Belgian-born wife, Anne Malherbe Gosselin, that he would not continue in office after his current term. Gosselin is a former professor and university administrator and both she and Correa have standing offers of faculty positions at Belgian universities once Correa leaves office.
Gosselin rarely appears in public with Correa and was quoted in a Belgium newspaper in 2013 saying that she found much about Latin American politics to be “distasteful.”
In an interview with the press, Morales said he did not believe he was betraying confidences by talking about Correa’s decision. “We are good friends and partners, but I believe this decision is public and he would not mind the fact that I am talking a about it.”
Correa’s decision not to seek another term has surprised and disappointed many of his supporters but Morales says that Correa is confident that another member of his Alianza Pais party will be elected to succeed him. Leading candidates are former and current vice presidents, Lenin Moreno and Jorge Glas, neither of whom have yet committed to run.