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South America re-election rash: Ecuador’s Correa takes office for the third consecutive time

Friday, May 24th 2013 - 07:36 UTC
Full article 8 comments
Correa was first elected in 2007; he repeated in 2009 with a new constitution and now has until 2017 Correa was first elected in 2007; he repeated in 2009 with a new constitution and now has until 2017

Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa will be inaugurated on Friday for his third consecutive mandate, something which Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez just managed before his death, and something which Bolivia’s Evo Morales aspires.

However Correa pledged this week he will not run for re-election and trusts that some candidate will emerge from the ruling party or cadres to continue in 2017 with the “citizens’ revolution” he launched.

Of the democratically elected presidents in the last twenty years, Chavez was the one that spent most time in office: August 1999 to March 2013, when he died of cancer.

Because of his delicate health condition Chavez was unable to take the oath of office on January 10 as mandated by the Venezuelan constitution, but Congress, the Electoral Court and Supreme Court (packed with Chavistas) ruled it was not necessary since it was a re-re-election.

Correa took office for the first time in 2007 and was re-elected in 2009 elections convened following the approval of a new constitutions and as of Friday will have another four years until 2017.

The new Ecuadorean constitution only allows one consecutive re-election and Correa has pledged he will comply. “These are my last four years” he said last February to foreign correspondents and confirmed it during a television interview on Wednesday.

“We are all necessary but nobody is indispensable”, said Correa adding it would be a major failure if there is nobody inside the ruling Alianza Pais party to replace him when his third mandate is over.

Bolivia’s Morales who will be attending the ceremony on Friday in Quito has been given the green light to bid for a third consecutive mandate next year. Congress controlled by his party and the Constitutional Tribunal have okayed his aspiration.

Morales took office in 2006; was again elected in 2010 and most probably will run in 2014. If this happens he would have ruled for 12 consecutive years, although still less than his admired Hugo Chavez.

However in the latest interview he said he was in the presidential seat ‘momentarily’. For “those of us momentarily at the service of the Bolivian people it is a enormous satisfaction to see the people aware of the defence of the fatherland, of the revolution and the process of change we are involved in”.

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos who under the constitution can only aspire to one second mandate, this week subtly anticipated he would be running because under Colombian law he must wait to 25 November to make the official announcement.

As in Colombia, Argentina limits re-election to two periods and the attempts to achieve a third consecutive mandate or what Argentines call the re-re-election have so far failed.

Cristina Fernandez on her second mandate has kept quiet about the issue, despite insistent demands from her followers to remain in office after 2015, and pledged publicly she would not reform the constitution, thus silencing voices demanding ‘Cristina for ever’.

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff, the second most powerful woman in the world, is expected to run for re-election next year. In the coming November elections in Chile for a successor to Sebastian Piñera, the leading candidate is former president Michell Bachelet, who ruled from 2006 to 2010.

In Chile consecutive re-election is banned as it is in Uruguay, which means president Jose Mujica will not be running in 2014. The most promising candidate according to public opinion polls is former president Tabare Vazquez who ruled from 2005 to 2010.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • ChrisR

    I bet Assange is happy!

    May 24th, 2013 - 09:06 pm 0
  • Baxter

    Good for him , now he can really apply good Bolivarian economic rules and utterly destroy the country . I wonder if he will now feel powerful enough to mount a rescue operation in the London Embassy . Or he may be dissuaded by the rapid fire of the London police following the death of the soldier ?

    May 24th, 2013 - 10:18 pm 0
  • reality check

    South Americam democracy.

    2015 new constitution.

    2017 4th term in office.

    2020 new constitution.

    2021 5th term in office.

    Etc, etc, etc.

    Never mind Assange will be fluent by then and a feature of Londons tourist bus route.

    May 25th, 2013 - 09:00 am 0
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