Rafael Correa makes another attempt to overcome suppression of his political rights

Wednesday September 2 is the last day for the candidates elected in the primary elections to formalize their participation in the 2021 general elections in Ecuador

September 01, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Rafael Correa faces several lawsuits with arrest warrants, which he has denounced as a form of political persecution intended to prevent him from contesting in the elections.

Today, on September 1, Pierina Correa, the sister of Ecuador’s former President Rafael Correa, attempted to accept her brother’s nomination as a candidate for the vice presidency of Ecuador before the National Electoral Council (CNE), using his notarized power of attorney. In addition to accepting Correa’s nomination, Pierina, who is a candidate for the National Assembly for the Democratic Center party -a part of the UNES-, also accepted her nomination in the parliament. Rafael Correa also attempted to complete his registration online through a video conference call. However, despite these attempts, the CNE has yet to officially accept the nomination of Rafael Correa as a candidate.

Rafael Correa was elected as the running mate of the economist Andrés Arauz in the primary elections held on August 22, within the Union for Hope (UNES), a new coalition of left-wing political parties and social movements. However, the Arauz-Correa presidential ticket was presented by the UNES on August 18, a week before the primaries.

According to a recently reformed electoral law, in order to stand in the elections, the participants are required to present their candidature and accept their nomination in person in the CNE’s headquarters. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CNE enabled online registration of candidacy. However, the electoral entity stressed that the candidates elected in the primary elections must appear before the electoral authorities to formalize their participation no later than September 2.

The former president, who is currently residing in Belgium, has been a victim of the lawfare waged against him by the administration of Lenín Moreno. If he returns to the country, he could face preventive detention for the “Bribes 2012-2016” case or in connection to the case of the failed kidnapping of opposition leader Fernando Balda.

Correa has rejected the charges pressed against him and denounced them as well as the electoral reforms as a form of political persecution intended to prevent him from running in the elections.

Yesterday, on August 31, the emptiness and fabrication of the charges surfaced once again. In a press conference from Argentina, the former intelligence agent of Ecuador, Raúl Chicaiza, confessed that he was pressured to involve Rafael Correa in Balda’s failed kidnapping case in 2012 to avoid a nine-year prison sentence.

Chicaiza also denounced that his life is at risk and that despite serving his sentence for participating in the kidnapping, he never received protection corresponding to the witness protection program. Chicaiza requested refugee status in Argentina.

 

Meanwhile, the attempts to impede Correa’s candidacy continued during the weekend.

On August 28, the president of the CNE, Diana Atamaint, stressed that there will be “unrestricted compliance with the regulations and the law,” with regard to the personal acceptance of the candidacies. She reiterated that the “law is for everyone.”

Through his twitter account, Correa denounced this act of proscription. “Atamaint lies. Very personal acceptance of national candidacies is contrary to the Law and the Constitution, it harms migrants and puts Ecuadorians at risk. Do you think your current puppeteers will defend you in the future for this new immoral action?,” tweeted Correa.

“This lady will have to face justice for this new shameless action. What about the Galapagos candidates for a national position? The migrants? A person with COVID-19? She is robbing us all of the right to participation,” wrote Correa in another tweet.

Additionally, Correa also denounced that he couldn’t go to Ecuador’s embassy in Belgium to accept his candidacy.

The UNES presidential candidate, Andrés Arauz, appeared before the CNE in the capital, Quito, on August 28, to accept his nomination. “I registered my candidacy knowing that it is a great challenge to respond to the people in these times of economic desperation,” said Arauz, assuring that the Arauz-Correa formula will return to the Ecuadorian people their dignity and hope.

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