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Ecuador’s new president shows an independent streak

Lenín Moreno emerges from the shadow of his forceful predecessor

The Economist 10/08/2017

Photo: The Economist

Photo: The Economist

Will Lenín Moreno be his own man? Or will he be the puppet of his forceful predecessor, Rafael Correa? Ecuadoreans have been wondering that since Mr Moreno became president on May 24th. An answer came on August 3rd, when Mr Moreno removed the vice-president, Jorge Glas, from any active role in government. Mr Glas has been friends with Mr Correa since they were boy scouts and was seen as the former president’s agent. Mr Moreno has stripped Mr Glas of his powers and perks, including the use of two presidential jets. He may now undo much of the work of his left-wing predecessor, who spent lavishly and squelched dissent.

Even before the break with Mr Glas, the new president showed an independent streak. He appointed a journalist from the private-sector media to run El Telégrafo, a state-owned newspaper. That is a sign, perhaps, that Mr Moreno will bully the press less. Mr Correa’s overspending had left the economy “at the brink of sustainability”, leaving a debt well above the legal limit of 40% of GDP, Mr Moreno declared.

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