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  • Former President Rafael Correa with supported after returning to Ecuador to lead the campaign against the referendum last night.

    Former President Rafael Correa with supported after returning to Ecuador to lead the campaign against the referendum last night. | Photo: Citizen Revolution Movement

Published 4 January 2018
Opinion

Ecuador's former president Rafael Correa prepares to lead the campaign against the February referendum.

Ecuador’s popular former president Rafael Correa arrived in Guayaquil on Friday morning and was welcomed home by a crowd of cheering supporters.

Touching down at Jose Joaquin de Olmedo Airport Terminal just after midnight, he was quickly swarmed by the enthusiastic group that gathered. He was also met by fellow politicians, Duran mayor Alexandra Arce, assemblyman Bairon Valle, former governor of Guayas, Luis Monge.

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Correa told the crowd he would continue to defend the country, denouncing the consultation as unconstitutional and criticizing the current administration for prohibiting Jorge Glas from performing his role as vice president.

“Do not be fooled, the consultation is to seize the Fatherland, to destroy the citizen’s revolution,” the former president said.

Correa is expected to participate in a commemorative event in the Febres Cordero neighborhood in Guayaquil before travelling to Portoviejo on Saturday.

Byway of the Citizens Revolution Movement, Correa's political platform outside of PAIS Alliance, the politician used Twitter to call supporters together to welcome its "historical leader in the first gathering for the 'No'" tonight at 11:30 PM in front of a well-known church, at the America's Avenue in Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city.

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The event was promoted with the hashtag #BienvenidoRafael, receiving both positive and negative reactions on Twitter.

The ex-president has recently expressed his support to Guillaume Long's decision to resign as Ecuador's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Long, who wrote an open letter to the country's current president, Lenin Moreno, stated that "consciousness is the most precious thing we human beings have."

Among Guillaume's motives are what he called Moreno's "authoritarianism" and the "illegal" constitution referendum.

Shortly after, Oscar Bonilla resigned his post as counselor for the Public Health Ministry, an action that Correa also applauded on his Twitter account.

In Tuesday's interview, Correa said he plans to reject referendum with the support of the Ecuadorean people.

The plebiscite or referendum was proposed by Lenín Moreno, the current president of Ecuador and will take place on Feb. 4.

Correa stated that he would support the “NO” against three specific points of the seven included in the referendum:

2.- Election of new members of the Civic Participation Council.

3.- Invalidating the amendment that allows indefinite re-election of elected positions.

6.- Restriction of mineral mining.

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