Search

 

Cablegate: Election Over, Correa Takes Stage

VZCZCXYZ0020
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHQT #2965/01 3412235
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 072235Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5832
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 6229
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 3683
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 0709
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 2205
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ DEC 0256
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 1201
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 1526
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS QUITO 002965

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

PLEASE PASS ALSO TO USOAS AND USAID/LAC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PREL PHUM ETRD EC
SUBJECT: ELECTION OVER, CORREA TAKES STAGE

1. (SBU) Summary: The Supreme Electoral Tribunal officially
declared Rafael Correa Ecuador's president-elect on December
4, but rival candidate Alvaro Noboa has refused to concede
defeat, requesting an investigation of Correa campaign
finances. Since being elected on November 26, Correa has
reaffirmed Ecuador's right to ATPDEA extension; announced
plans to abolish Ecuador's Trade Ministry; and said his
government would investigate alleged human rights abuses
committed during the presidency of Leon Febres Cordero.
Correa will attend the South American Summit in Bolivia
December 8-9, then travel to Brazil and Argentina for
presidential meetings. End Summary.

Results Official, PRIAN Protests
--------------------------------

2. (U) With all November 26 votes counted, the Supreme
Electoral Tribunal (TSE) on December 4 officially declared
Rafael Correa to be Ecuador's president-elect. The
presidential inauguration will take place on January 15.
Correa won 56.6% of valid votes (a majority in 19 provinces)
while second round rival Alvaro Noboa (PRIAN) finished with
only 43.33% (a majority in only three provinces--Manabi,
Guayas, and Esmeraldas). Null and blank votes totaled 10.8%.

3. (U) Still refusing to concede defeat, Alvaro Noboa's
PRIAN party on December 4 charged that 13 of Correa's
campaign financers had failed to declare taxes over the past
three years, and requested an investigation by electoral
authorities. TSE president Xavier Cazar confirmed receipt of
the complaint and said an investigation was underway.

Correa Heads South
------------------

4. (U) President-elect Rafael Correa left Ecuador on
December 7 to travel to meetings in Brazil, Bolivia, and
Argentina. In Brasilia, Correa will reportedly discuss
petroleum and other commercial issues with Brazilian
President Lula da Silva. He will then travel to Cochabamba,
Bolivia to attend the South American Summit December 8-9, and
then travel to Buenos Aires to meet with Argentine President
Nestor Kirchner. A previously scheduled trip to Bogota was
canceled for unspecified reasons.

Correa: Ecuador Deserves ATPDEA Extension
-----------------------------------------

5. (U) Responding to unconfirmed and premature reports of a
House of Representatives bill extending ATPDEA trade
preferences only for FTA-signees Peru and Colombia, Correa
commented publicly that ATPDEA should be extended for as long
as there is a drug fight. Ecuador would not accept "insults
or threats" from any nation, he added. Going further, Correa
told reporters that should Ecuador be excluded from ATPDEA
renewal, he would seek resources, even from the
anti-narcotics budget, to compensate Ecuadorian producers
hurt by ATPDEA expiration. In responding to another
question, Correa said that there was no reason for Ecuador to
name an arbiter in the Oxy arbitration case because the
process had no basis for moving forward without the agreement
of both parties -- showing that he either does not understand
the provisions of the bilateral investment treaty or chooses
to ignore them.

Correa: Ministry of Commerce No More
------------------------------------

6. (U) Correa announced during his campaign and reaffirmed on
December 5 his plans to close the Ministry of Commerce and
move its trade negotiating responsibilities to the Foreign
Ministry. The Ministry's industrialization and fishery
functions would be moved to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Correa claimed the shift would "transform Ecuador into an
exporting nation."

Correa: LFC Violated Human Rights
---------------------------------

7. (U) Correa announced on November 30 that his government
would not "pardon or forget" past human rights abuses carried
out under previous administrations. Singling out
ex-president and PSC strongman Leon Febres Cordero, whose
administration has been dogged by allegations of abuses
during his government's crackdown on domestic terrorist
groups in the mid-80's, Correa said human rights abuses must
be investigated and perpetrators held responsible for their
actions.

FARC Leader Congratulates Correa
--------------------------------

8. (U) The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
leader Raul Reyes issued a statement on December 6
congratulating president-elect Rafael Correa on his electoral
victory, calling it "a historic reaffirmation of sovereignty
and rejection of U.S. intervention in Latin America." The
FARC also thanked Correa for not labeling the organization as
terrorists. The FARC issued similar statements to Daniel
Ortega and Lula da Silva. Additional congratulatory messages
continue to arrive from other countries, most recently from
the Government of China and Peruvian president Alan Garcia
for his victory. The Chinese ambassador used the occasion to
note that China now has more than $1.5 billion invested in
Ecuador.

Comment
-------

9. (SBU) Correa's first travel as president-elect signals
his government's interest in reinforcing its ties to what
they perceive as like-minded South American neighbors. His
proposal to eliminate the Ministry of Commerce, if confirmed,
is presumably aimed at tightening control over trade policy
and reducing the influence of the chambers of commerce and
other private sector groups - the main constituencies of the
current Ministry of Commerce. Correa's knee-jerk reaction to
a still developing story on ATPDEA renewal does not bode well
for his ability to respond in a measured way to issues in our
bilateral relationship.
BROWN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN News: UN Strongly Condemns Knife Attack Inside Nice Church Which Left Three Dead

The UN Secretary-General on Thursday strongly condemned a knife attack inside a French church in the southern French city of Nice, which reportedly left three worshippers dead. In a statement released by his Spokesperson, António Guterres extended his ... More>>

ALRANZ: Denounces US Senate Confirmation Of Judge Barrett

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa denounces the US Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court seat formerly held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. “This action demonstrates the rank hypocrisy of the once-respected upper chamber ... More>>

UN News: Millions Affected As Devastating Typhoon Strikes Viet Nam

A major typhoon has struck central Viet Nam, affecting millions of people – including about 2.5 million children – in a region already reeling from the effects of severe floods, according to UN agencies in the country. There are also reports that 174 ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>