Breaking News —
Quito, May 23 . .- The President of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, begins his last year in power on Sunday, under the watchful eye of the health emergency unleashed by the coronavirus and the impact of an economic crisis that threatens even a social outburst.
VIRTUAL REPORT TO THE NATION
This Sunday, and for the first time in the country’s history, Moreno will present to the National Assembly (Parliament) his Report to the Nation, the annual management evaluation, in virtual form, in a videoconference, in consideration of the isolation phase in the capital Quito.
The head of the Legislative, the official César Litardo, called the virtual solemn session of the plenary to receive the Report to the Nation of Moreno that, by constitutional mandate, must offer to the Assembly and that must include the Government’s objectives for the last year management.
According to the agenda of the ceremony, it is expected that the president of Parliament himself will participate in the ceremony, prior to Moreno’s self-evaluation speech.
The president’s report will be held on May 24, when the country remembers the Battle of Pichincha in 1822, a libertarian feat that gave way years later to the Republican era.
MORENO IN HIS LAST YEAR AND WITH THE WORST CRISIS
Moreno is preparing to exercise his last year in office, without any intention of repeating, in the midst of what he himself has described as the worst crisis in the country’s recent history.
With negative figures in the economy, Ecuador also records, according to the official report of this Friday, 35,828 COVID-19 infections, with 3,056 deaths and another 1,892 deaths likely due to this disease that began to be tabulated on February 29 last.
In addition, the Government’s management in the face of the health emergency has been punctuated by acts of corruption and a handling that caused worldwide concern about the situation that initially arose in the port city of Guayaquil, where even corpses appeared in the streets.
Moreno has accepted that the situation is critical, multidimensional and that its cost will reach 12,000 million dollars, much more than that of the 1998 crisis, of some 8,000 million dollars.
And it is that, according to Moreno, the economic shock caused by the social confinement by COVID-19 (and its consequent decrease in production), adds the drastic drop in the price of oil and the remnant of a crisis that, according to denounced, it was forged in the time of his predecessor, Rafael Correa (2007-2017), his ex-religionist and who he accuses of the ills that afflict the country.
MULTILATERALS: MORENO’S POLITICAL LIFEGUARDS
To alleviate the “triple crisis” (health, economic and social), Moreno has turned fully to multilateral organizations, which have offered him more than 10 billion dollars.
This has already generated social discontent in his country that, it seems, will also have an impact on the upcoming election year.
The adjustments, budget cuts, labor and financial reforms (privatizations), in addition to an absolute adherence to the conditions of the multilaterals, especially the International Monetary Fund, have been rejected by union, popular and indigenous groups that warn of an eventual “outbreak” Social”.
The effect of the “triple crisis” is also shown in the drop in popularity of Moreno, who at his best had exceeded 75%.
The Cedatos survey firm, in a last report on the monthly opinion studies that it has done since the beginning of the current government period, recalled that in August 2017 the approval of Moreno’s management reached 77%.
MORENO: A STREPITFUL FALL IN THE SURVEYS
That indicator fell to 26 percent in May 2019 and plummeted to 8 percent last October 4, during a union and indigenous rebellion that succeeded in repealing economic measures that included the elimination of fuel subsidies, as required by the IMF.
Cedatos, in his report, recalled that ex-rulers who were widely criticized and overthrown, such as the populist Abdalá Bucaram (1996-1997) and the Christian Democrat Jamil Mahuad (1998-2000), reached acceptance levels of just 7% before falling.
However, the polling firm assured that Moreno saw his popularity grow to 22.8% in the same October 2019, after he repealed the agreement on the elimination of subsidies.
Cedatos pointed out that Moreno’s popularity, last March, before the cornavirus pandemic, stood at 21.7% and that on May 10 it fell to 18.7%.
In addition, the statistics maintain that last May, only 5 percent of the surveyed population thought that the country was on the right track and that 52.4 percent said they felt “pessimistic, worried, uncertain and sad”.
Fernando Arroyo León