QUITO – Cynthia Viteri, a 51-year-old attorney, is the presidential candidate of the conservative Social Christian Party (PSC), aiming to succeed Ecuador’s Rafael Correa in next Sunday’s election and saying she wants to build a solid and happy country.
The opposition candidate, who began her political career in 1998, when she won a parliamentary seat, is running for president for the second time, the first being in 2006, when Correa prevailed.
Viteri is going up against seven other presidential candidates to succeed the leftist president, who will hand over power to his successor in May.
She has said that the electorate will punish Correa in Sunday’s vote and opt for the “real change” she says she represents.
In an interview with EFE, Viteri said that she takes refuge – in difficult moments – in memories of her childhood, which she said was the happiest time of her life.
She said that she has “urgent matters” to take care of as president, claiming that the country needs a thorough transformation that changes the critical situation she says Correa has created.
Viteri lamented the “abandonment, hunger, poverty, illness” from which many Ecuadorians suffer, yearning for a better country in which there are “medicines, specialized health care, well-treated elderly.”
She said she wants a country where “children are well-protected, where they don’t go hungry, where they aren’t lonely, where they don’t live in misery, where they don’t experience violence, where women stop crying, where men can bring home food to their homes every day, along with women who are the heads of households.”
She said that she dreams of a “generous and solid (country), a happy Ecuador.”
“I have a plan ready to lower taxes and implement necessary reforms to improve young people’s access to university education, push employment, build homes for poor families and lift up productive undertakings,” she added.
She also said that if she’s elected she will launch a fight against corruption, which she says the Correa administration has created.
Viteri also said that Ecuador must hold a direct dialogue with the Donald Trump administration, given that the US is the country’s main trading partner and where 2.5 million Ecuadorians live.
She also said that she will withdraw the political asylum that the Correa government granted to WikiLeaks founder, Australian Julian Assange, who since June 2012 has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.