EspañolEcuadorian opposition leaders announced Thursday they will work together to promote a referendum that prevents a constitutional amendment authorizing indefinite reelection.
The alliance between Guillermo Lasso, of the Creating Opportunities (CREO) political movement, and César Montufár, leader of the National Democratic Coalition Movement (MCND), aims to deny Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa another consecutive term in office.
According to the opposition leaders, the only goal is to “take care of democracy against a totalitarian and controlling state.”
“This is a one-off deal and does not have any implication beyond defending democracy. This is not an electoral agreement. Its only goal is, if need be, to promote a referendum emerging from the citizenry,” Lasso stated.
Montufár echoed Lasso’s sentiment, and noted they joined forces because “democracy is in a state of emergency.”
“We support the initiative of Guillermo Lasso to boost a referendum. The purpose of this union is to fight with decency, respect, willingness, and force, so we can make Ecuador democratic again,” he added.
“We will not only collect the signatures required by law, but we will collect the number of signatures needed to prevent them from playing with the law,” said Lasso.
On Wednesday, September 17, demonstrators flooded the streets of Ecuador to protest against a number of policies proposed by Correa, among them, a constitutional amendment that would authorize indefinite reelection.
The protests resulted in 17 police officers injured and 120 demonstrators detained, including 59 students that remain in custody after nine days. On Thursday, the Provincial Court of Pichincha denied them a habeas corpus request. Later that the same day, the attorney Verónica Yuquilema filed a claim alleging torture and unlawful detention.
“There is proof that [the student] was brutally assaulted,” said the lawyer.