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“The 2018 popular referendum, which promised to beat corruption, was financed in a corrupt way,” reporters denounced.
A campaign for a 2018 constitutional referendum pushed by President Lenin Moreno aimed to fight corruption in Ecuador was allegedly financed corruptly with millions of dollars from public funds, a local media revealed Sunday.
Citing sources close to Ecuador’s Moreno, reporters presented in a video on social media documents reportedly revealing that the campaign for the referendum was run using state resources.
“The 2018 popular referendum, which promised to beat corruption, was financed in a corrupt way,” reporters denounced. The announcement was made by lawmaker Ronny Aleaga in Octuber 2019 but, as he said, were ignored by the attorney general.
According to the sources, at least US$5 million of public funds were used as follows: 1.4 million in electoral control, 30,000 in advance, 100,000 in political action, 1.5 million in brigades, 200,000 in contingencies, 300,000 in mobilization and the remaining 1.5 million was in cash.
The sources added that after the vote in the referendum brought the expected results, a liquidation of the spendings was made. However, the amount reported did not come close to half a million.
The fundings allegedly came from different state companies including Petroecuador and Petroamazonas among other public firms.
In early 2018, Ecuadoreans were called to the polls to answer seven questions to reform the constitution and to vote on important national issues. Following a staunch campaign aimed at convincing them to vote in favor of the reforms, more than 60 percent of the voters supported them.
One of the most important questions was the ban on presidents from holding office for more than two terms. Voters backed the change and the move was widely seen by commentators as politically motivated to prevent ex-President Rafael Correa from representing himself as a presidential candidate.
Following the corruption allegations, Moreno said on Twitter that he will request an investigation on the accounts of the public companies mentioned by the reporters.