The political party of former Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa, has been banned from contesting forthcoming elections scheduled for next year in a scandalous move which has been condemned by international observers.
Ecuador has been swamped with political turmoil since Lenin Moreno’s take over as president. Most significantly Moreno has implemented an austerity package brought in in order to pander to the IMF in return for loans resulting in the reversal of many of the achievements of his popular predecessor, Correa. That level of turmoil may well be about to increase as Correa’s new party, Fuerza Compromiso Social, was banned from participating in the country’s 2021 election earlier this month.
This week an Ecuadorian court also upheld an 8 year prison sentence against Correa, currently in exile, based on allegations that Correa accepted bribes while in office. Correa reacted to this decision online by saying “It’s hard to believe this ridiculous decision, which is just trying to hurt me. Nothing will defeat us“. Correa went on to say that it was “part of the right-wing’s agenda” to stop him from running.
Parallels of this criminalisation of the left can be seen elsewhere in Latin America, to the South East of Ecuador, Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) candidates for the upcoming election in Bolivia have been banned from running in many cases, including former President Evo Morales. Another comparison can be drawn with the coup in Honduras in 2009 when elected President Manuel Zelaya was ousted by forces from within the existing state (not without the complicity of the USA).
The road isn’t clear for Ecuador’s left and Rafael Correa in the build up to next year’s increasingly tense election. No doubt the election will be decisive in determining whether Ecuador will continue to have the advances made by Correa’s administration stripped away, or whether the left will be able to make a comeback and reverse the rightwards direction that Moreno’s government has taken the country in the last three years.