With a fresh victory in hand, Ecuadoreans will be looking for President Lenin Moreno to move beyond the political duel with his domineering predecessor and focus his attention on the nation’s stagnant economy. Ecuadoreans voted by a landslide in a nationwide referendum Sunday to limit presidents to just one re-election, barring three-time former President Rafael Correa from returning to power. The measure was approved by an almost 2-to-1 margin, sending the strongest signal yet that the Andean nation is ready to shift gears away from Correa, the leftist strongman who has dominated the nation’s politics over the last decade. But how far Moreno will diverge from Correa’s agenda remains to be seen.
While Moreno has begun building bridges with the private sector shunned by Correa, analysts say he has stopped short of instituting the sort of economic reforms needed to jumpstart a sluggish economy. He also remains dependent on Correa’s allies in congress to usher through legislation.
“He’s now put behind him, in large part, this ongoing political battle,” said Eurasia Group analyst Risa Grais-Targow. “From here, the government will now need to turn its attention back to its economic agenda.”