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What would the return of Correísmo mean?

The correista candidate ensures his passage to the second round and starts as the favorite to be the new president.

Rafael Correa

The force of Correísmo remains the number one movement within the political spectrum of the small nation. / Photo: Flickr-GUE / NGL

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: ¿Qué significaría el regreso del correísmo?

Very few certainties left the first round of the presidential elections in Ecuador. Perhaps the only palpable is the strength of Correísmo that remains the number one movement within the political spectrum of the small nation. Andrés Arauz, the candidate supported by Correa, confirmed his passage to the second round and expects a rival between Guillermo Lasso (from the right) and Yaku Pérez, an indigenous leader from the left.

Despite the fact that Correísmo will have to convince the majority of voters in the second round, competing against a candidate from the right or a similar candidate from the left, the victory of a progressive government is much more feasible. Not only because Arduz achieved 32.29% of the votes (so far), but together with Pérez (19.74%) and the Democratic Left candidate, Xavier Hervas (16.9%), Ecuador demonstrated its clear political lean towards the left, with about 70% of popular support.

This could be vital for the moment of electing Lenin Moreno's successor in the second round if Correísmo benefits from that intention to vote on the left by competing against a neoliberal candidate or it will be difficult for them to compete against Yaku Pérez, who could also absorb anti-Corrrh votes.

Regardless of the final result, it is already known that Correísmo is more alive than ever, despite the fact that its natural leader, former President Rafael Correa, is in exile, due to the judicial investigations that are being carried out in his country, and that he considers them political persecution.

Correísmo in domestic politics

Obviously, Correa was characterized by his social policy, giving great results in terms of reducing extreme poverty, GDP growth and inequality. According to the Center for Research in Economics and Politics, during the Correa government, inequality decreased from 0.55 to 0.47 in the Gini coefficient; GDP grew 1.5% from 2006 to 2016, compared to 0.6% in the previous 26 years; and the poverty rate fell 38% and extreme poverty by 47% (going from 16.9 to 8.7 percent in 11 years).

Also read: Ecuador Elections: Is Correísmo Back?

Precisely, these results were what allowed Lenin Moreno to be elected under the protection and support of Correa. However, after arriving at the Carondelet Palace, the current president was in charge of distancing himself from his predecessor and fissures arose, which to this day seem irreparable. Even Moreno, upon taking office, argued that many of Correa's social advances were achieved by mortgaging the country and that for this reason, he had to save without room for maneuver.

But there are also opaque ones during the Correa government. Strong persecution of the press and the opposition, marked the 10 years of the government of the charismatic leader. The power that Correa accumulated was criticized by opponents. The former president of the Constituent Assembly, Alberto Acosta, stated a few years ago that "Correa is a caudillo who did not strengthen democracy, restricted freedoms and established a repressive legal framework."

In addition, since 2013, when he promulgated the Communication Law, he opened more than 900 processes against the media, which he classified as political actors opposed to his Government, leaving strong enemies in the press.

Regional overview

Faced with an eventual victory for Arduz, the Latin American political panorama would mark a new victory for progressive movements, including for the socialism of the 21st century founded by former presidents Evo Morales (Bolivia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua), Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Argentina) and Lula Da Silva (Brazil), except for the last, all of them (or their allies) remain in power in their respective countries. In addition, he is joined by the leftist governments in Mexico and a possible successor in Chile, to the great disapproval of Sebastián Piñera.

This leaves a political map in the region quite tilted to the left, which would benefit the political stability of the Nicolás Maduro regime, seeing only Colombia and the United States (today with a slightly more diplomatic position with Biden at the head) to counterbalance it. .

If Arduz takes up Correa's dreams, Unasur will have to rethink power, which has been hit hard by the wave of right-wing governments that founded Prosur, as a parallel body. In addition, with a leftist region, as it is at the moment, it will be possible to advance in the idea of unifying the currency in the continent and establishing the longed-for Banco del Sur.