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Weekly Report - 11 April 2019 (WR-19-14)

ECUADOR: Moreno, Correa, Assange, plots and stratagems

Some 197 newly elected mayors entered Ecuador’s Carondelet presidential palace on 4 April on a red carpet customarily reserved for heads of state and other foreign dignitaries for a special ceremony organised by President Lenín Moreno. Such an event would have been unthinkable under Moreno’s predecessor Rafael Correa (2007-2017), who stigmatised politicians from opposition parties. But Moreno’s overtures come amid a sharp decline in his approval ratings brought about by his government’s economic austerity measures (which he argues are necessary because of Correa’s profligacy), and a change of political course that, if the results of municipal elections on 24 March are anything to go by, has perplexed the public. Meanwhile, the government is accusing Correa, and Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder who had been residing in Ecuador’s London embassy for almost seven years before his sudden arrest on 11 April, of conspiring to bring down Moreno.

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