Ecuador’s president removed as party chief in power struggle with predecessor

World Today

Ecuador’s President, Lenin Moreno, has been ousted as head of the ruling party.

The national committee has replaced him with an ally of former President Rafael Correa.

As CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports, this is part of a battle between supporters of the two men.

The decision to oust Ecuador’s president from his party has no impact on Moreno’s position as President of Ecuador but it could affect his ability to govern.

The national leadership committee of the governing Alianza Pais party removed Moreno from his post after what it said were his “repeated failures.”

Alianza Pais, the party founded by former president Rafael Correa a decade ago, will now be led by former foreign minister Ricardo Patiño, a Correa ally.

Ecuador’s government, however, said it did not recognize the decision and stressed Moreno remained the head of the party.

This move comes after a widening split between Moreno and former President Correa, who governed Ecuador for 10 years.

Correa, who is with his family in Belgium, his wife’s country, has accused Moreno of being a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ and betraying his legacy.

Moreno, for his part, has built bridges with the opposition and criticized Correa’s handling of the economy saying it has left Ecuador saddled with debts.

Moreno has also backed an investigation into alleged corruption during Correa’s tenure. The corruption probe has led to the arrest of Vice President Jorge Glas, a close friend of Correa.

Opinion polls show Moreno’s reforms have the broad support of Ecuadoreans.

He’s also seeking public backing to limit presidential term limits in a referendum at the beginning of next year.  That could frustrate Correa’s chances of returning to office in 2021.