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Cablegate: Amid Calls to Dissolve Congress, Correa,S Ratings

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FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7314
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 6745
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 2599
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JUN 0643
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 1752
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 2508
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS QUITO 001488

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL EC
SUBJECT: AMID CALLS TO DISSOLVE CONGRESS, CORREA,S RATINGS
FALL

REF: A. QUITO 1295

B. QUITO 1423
C. QUITO 1424
D. QUITO 1422
E. QUITO 1350
F. QUITO 1124

1. (U) Summary: On June 26 a new
Cedatos-Gallup poll shows a drop in President Correa's approval rating
to 62% and a drop in his credibility to 54%.
These declines come in the midst of increasing political scandal and
contention. Recents displays of intolerance and even arrogance by
Correa, coupled also with his call for the upcoming Constituent
Assembly to immediately dissolve Congress, have probably also
contributed to the decline. Notably, less than 50% of the public now
expects positive change to result from the Constituent
Assembly. End Summary.

POLL RESULTS

2. (U) The June 26 Cedatos-Gallup poll shows a continuing
slide in Correa's approval rating from a high of 76% in
April to 67% in May (Reftels A and B) and now to 62% in June.
Disapproval rating in the same period has almost doubled
from 17% to 33%. Credibility fell from an April high of 74%
to 62% in May and now to 54% in June. In the Ecuadorian
context these remain strong numbers, but the negative
downward trend is notable. For comparison, Congress
currently registers a 12% approval rating and 6% credibility
rating.

HOPES FOR ASSEMBLY EBBING

3. (U) The traditional and seemingly endemic pessimism of
the Ecuadorian people appears to be chipping away at the once
high hopes for what the constituent assembly will achieve.
The poll found very sharply lowered expectations, with just
31.9% nationwide now believing that the assembly will improve
the situation of the country. That number was even higher in
Guayaquil, where 49.3% answered negatively.

CORREA CALLS FOR DISSOLUTION OF CONGRESS

4. (U) On June 23 during his weekly radio address, Correa
called for the upcoming Constituent Assembly to dissolve
Congress: "I am becoming more convinced that the assembly
must dissolve Congress." He stated that earlier he did not
think so, but that "the quality" of this Congress had
changed his mind. In the last two weeks Congress has vetoed
or substantially changed several pieces of Correa's proposed
legislation (Reftels C and D).

CONGRESS REACTS

5. (U) Deputies of Congress have reacted angrily to CorreaQ,s
suggestion. Two hours of the session on June 25 were spent
rejecting Correa's declaration. Carlos Gonz lez of ID
called on the Attorney General to open an investigation
against Correa on the ground that his remarks undermine
political stability, in violation of the current
constitution. Other deputies echoed this sentiment,
including Luis Almeida of PSP. Only MPD and part of
Pachakutik refrained from criticizing Correa's statement.

COMMENT

6. (U) Correa's controversial call for the dissolution of
Congress comes on the heels of the familiar scandals of the
press (Reftel F) and Patinovideos (Reftel E). While his
credibility is slipping, Correa's approval rating remains
high going into the assembly election season.
JEWELL

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