Protests in Ecuador could lead to the removal of President Lenin Moreno from power, the possibility of holding early elections in the country cannot be ruled out, said Victor Kheifets, professor of the Department of Theory and History of International Relations of the Department of International Relations of St. Petersburg State University.
The Parliament of Ecuador on Tuesday decided to suspend its activities in connection with the mass protests that are taking place in Quito and other cities of the country. Authorities also imposed curfews in areas where government buildings and strategic sites are located.
There is no doubt that today the government of Lenin Moreno is facing the most serious crisis in its history, the expert is sure.
“I would not say decisively that this will lead to his downfall, but now such a possibility exists for the first time during the President’s tenure in power. If everything goes as it is now, I would not rule out the possibility of early elections, in which Lenin Moreno himself will not have a chance. This does not mean that representatives of Correa (ex-President of Ecuador Rafael Correa) and the people behind him will win, but the fact that Lenin Moreno is a figure largely won back, I have no doubts”, – he stressed.
Moreno’s statements that the tense situation in the country was caused by people from outside, for example, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, have no basis, said Heifetz.
“I think Lenin Moreno is deeply wrong because, firstly, similar events may not have occurred on such a scale in Ecuador before. This is not the first time that Indian movements have forced the authorities to adjust their policies. In two cases, they sought resignation presidents – Gutierrez and Mauad. Therefore, the current situation is not unique in this regard and Lenin Moreno gives out wishful thinking”, – the expert said.
It is impossible to use events from the outside if there are no deep internal reasons, and they are in Ecuador, Heifets noted.
Another thing, the expert added, was that the former president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, would be interested in using such events to hold early elections, in which he might have participated. But in any case, Lenin Moreno builds the wrong sequence of events, the professor believes.
“The words of Lenin Moreno are an attempt to put the cart before the horse. First, there was public discontent with the package of socio-economic reforms, and only then Correa tried to take advantage of this situation”, – he added.
In early October, in Ecuador, demonstrations of citizens dissatisfied with the economic reforms of the government began. Other public organizations joined the transport, and indefinite mobilization of representatives of indigenous peoples was announced in order to protest against the economic policy of the government.
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno declared a state of emergency in connection with the protests. 570 people were detained as a result of the riots. Moreno stated that the authorities would not review a package of measures, including the abolition of gas subsidies, agreed with the IMF leadership, but expressed his intention to meet with representatives of the indigenous movement to discuss their demands.