QUITO – Ecuador’s Acting Vice President Maria Alejandra Vicuña does not dismiss the possibility of a split in the Alianza Pais movement due to differences between its two top leaders, but believes that self-criticism is vital if the citizens’ revolution is to survive beyond 12 or 14 years.
“There are divisions in Alianza Pais (AP), there are different positions that seem very hard to get back together,” she said in an interview with EFE, during which she admitted there are “fissures,” because denying them “would be irresponsible, a lie.”
Vicuña, 39, who is also Treasury minister, has been a government leader since President Lenin Moreno made her pro tem vice president last Oct. 4 after VP Jorge Glas was jailed pending a possible trial on corruption charges.
Dynamic in her approach, this psychologist is promoting two of Moreno’s signature projects: “A Home for All” and the popular referendum, with which he hopes to win citizens’ support for his policies and endorse his legitimacy against the more “Correista” segment of the party, a reference to former President Rafael Correa.
Vicuña believes a referendum’s success will not be in the results but rather in the process itself.
“There will be no winners or losers here. It’s a citizens’ process, in which people will vote for or against – it’s their right,” she said.
Such a referendum would, however, defy some of the rules laid down by the previous government headed by Rafael Correa, such as unlimited reelections, capital gains legislation and the restructuring of the Citizen Participation Council, all controversial matters that further divide Ecuadorian society.
“Last April 2 (presidential election day), the results were not like those the citizens’ revolution has historically achieved,” Vicuña said in a self-critical spirit atypical of the AP and which she attributed to the “fatigue of exercising power” and “corruption scandals.”
She sees “exercises in self-criticism” indispensable in the citizens’ revolution, the movement that since 2006 unified the Ecuadorian left under Correa, now living in Belgium.
He might have been a charismatic leader, but now she denounces him and his followers for the current split into two political factions.
Asked about the possibility of a permanent division of the AP, she said “it’s a real possibility in any political organization...it wouldn’t be the first time,” but defined herself as one of those “fools” who still believe in unity.