As nearly 13 million Ecuadorians head to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president, some are looking for better economic solutions as the economy takes a downturn.
CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports.
Ecuador electing new president amid rising unemploymentAs nearly 13 million Ecuadorians head to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president, some are looking for better economic solutions as the economy takes a downturn. CGTN's Dan Collyn's reports.
The current president Rafael Correa will not stand after having governed the country for a decade – a period which began with growth and stability but is now seeing an economic troubles.
The leader of Ecuador’s citizens’ revolution is bowing out after ten years governing the country. To his credit, Rafael Correa has doubled social spending and public investment. He’s been a driving force behind improving education and healthcare, as well as slashing poverty and building infrastructure
However, his critics said he’s left the economy saddled with debt and very little in the government’s coffers to which Ecuador’s economy minister disagrees.
“Growth was faster and higher and basically what we have done is that most of the Ecuadoreans have increased their wages and their income. That means the Ecuadorean economy has increased a lot, the size of the economy, the size also of the financial sector, the size of the manufacturing sector,” Diego Martinez, Ecuador’s economy minister said.
Nevertheless, the IMF predicts a 2.7 percent contraction in growth this year and says the economy is in recession.
President Correa may not be not on the ballot but his legacy hangs in the balance. Many Ecuadorians credit Correa with creating stability and prosperity after a period which saw eight presidents in 10 years. However, as oil prices dropped, the good times came to an end and that’s prompted calls for change.
Accusations of corruption leveled at top officials in Correa’s government have emboldened the opposition. The main rival to Correa’s successor pledges to rout out graft, create jobs and bring in more foreign investment.