Mary O’Grady analyzes Julian Assange and Ecuador’s Election
WikiLeaks’ founder is rooting for the leftist incumbent’s party. No one else should.
In Brazil, Argentina and Peru, where democratic institutions have held up, antidemocratic demagogues have been turned out of office in recent years. But it’s too late for Venezuela and Bolivia, both of which are now full-blown dictatorships.
Colombia has lost its proud republican tradition of institutional checks on the executive. Last year President Juan Manuel Santos dismissed the results of a national plebiscite, declared amnesty for drug-trafficking FARC terrorists, and gave them seats in Congress.
Now is Ecuador’s moment of truth.
Mr. Correa has a thirst for power, an affinity for Twitter and a bullying manner. He was an acolyte of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez, who died in 2013. During Mr. Correa’s decade in power, civil liberties and the rule of law have disintegrated in Ecuador.
In 2015 Mr. Correa changed the constitution to allow indefinite re-election of a president after 2017. This change ought to have required a national referendum. But since he didn’t have popular backing, he used his control of Congress to get it rubber-stamped. It doesn’t take much speculation to conclude that Mr. Correa is hoping to add his name to a growing list of Latin American dictators: Peron, Castro, Chávez, Ortega, Morales.
Mr. Moreno is Mr. Correa’s proxy in this election. A Moreno triumph is important if Mr. Correa is to be protected from the wide array of corruption investigations that his opponents are demanding.
Mr. Moreno would also act as a placeholder for Mr. Correa until the 2021 election, as Dmitry Medvedev was for Vladimir Putin from 2008-12. Legalized indefinite re-election would take care of the rest.
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The runoff is scheduled for next Sunday, April 2d.