For most of the past three years, Vice President Jorge Glas has remained mostly out of the public spotlight except for occasional fill-ins for President Rafael Correa at the Saturday government television broadcast.
No longer. In November and December, Glas was busy dedicating public projects, making speeches and handing out awards in all corners of the country. He subbed for Correa at major events at the country’s largest oil refinery in Esmeraldas and at the largest hydro-electric project, which is nearing completion east of Quito.
Glas’ increased visibility coincides with Correa’s decision not to run for president in 2017, leading to speculation that the vice president is being groomed for succession.
When Correa announced he would not seek another term, he mentioned Glas along with former Vice President Lenin Moreno and Minister of the Interior José Serrano as being capable successors. It was believed that Moreno was Correa’s first choice but after a meeting between the two in Geneva during the international climate summit in early December, Moreno has received little mention from the president. According to Quito newspaper La Hora, Moreno told Correa he is not interested in running.
Polibio Cordova, of the Cedatos-Gallup polling agency, says Glas’s activity in recent weeks has substantially raised his level of recognition among Ecuadorians. “It appears he is being considered to be at least one of the possible replacements for the president,” he said.
Cordova pointed out that Moreno still has a much higher recognition level than Glas, 23.5% to 10%.