Elections in Ecuador will be held on February 17, 2013 and are likely to receive a vigilant reception from the United States of America. The incumbent president, Rafael Correa has substantial chances of grabbing the third (also the last) term as Ecuador’s president. However, he is viewed skeptically from those in the White House. Belonging to a Christain socialist party (PAIS (Proud and Sovereign Fatherland) Alliance Movement (Movimiento Alianza PAIS [Patria Altiva i Soberana]) he has worked for the social uplift of the masses and has aligned himself with the South American nations. Much to the dismay of Americans, the popular president is also a good friend of ailing Hugo Chavez. Despite the irritation that he can stir for Washington, he has his reasons for making his ‘citizen revolution’ irreversible. On the other hand, his supporters have started to chant that they already have a president!
Before Rafael Correa took charge of the Andean country, it had been an unstable mob of 15 million people. Political quagmire was fomented with rapid succession of seven different presidents in a decade. Rafael with his bent towards ‘socialist reforms’ managed to ameliorate the inconstant socio-economic landscape of the country. His efforts yielded a positive outcome and helped him to win the support of the masses. During his two presidential terms (starting from 2007) the unemployment fell to 4.1%. This decline in the rate of unemployment hasn’t been achieved in the past 25 years. Much to the relief of those dwelling in Ecuador, poverty was reduced by 27%. Rafael didn’t stop here- public spending on education was doubled, health care reforms were improved. The debt-to-GDP ratio for Ecuador is 25%. All this progress was cobbled skilfully.
The country presented the most comprehensive economic reform by taking control of the central bank. Reserves resting abroad were brought back (almost $2 billion) to improve the agriculture, local industry and infrastructure. Taxes were imposed on money flying out of the country. Correa, a PhD economist, played his financial cards with prudence. The revolutionary reforms ensured that the public lives a comfortable life. Such swift development also made Correa a popular leader who gave priority to public interest and not to foreign dictate. The reason that his popularity graph is above 50%.
He isn’t concerned about the US wrath. For now on he is eyeing for a landslide win and that is what an average Ecuadoran wants as well. They want to thrive. What irks the American hawks is the communication and transport linkage being developed among South American nations with the support of Ecuador. Rafael has given more crunchy punches than that, especially when he granted asylum to Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange. The new dawn of February 17, 2013 will allow Rafael Correa another chance as a president. What is left to be seen is that how do his critics grind their teeth and the margin by which he finds success in the elections.