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Ecuador Rallies for Correa Amid Opposition Protests

Thousands of supporters of President Rafael Correa rallied in central Quito Wednesday, amid renewed opposition protests.

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“Correa has done so many things for our country. So many things,” Correa supporter Rosa Chiquimarea said.

Amid crowds clad in the lime green of Correa’s PAIS party, Chiquimarea said the current government has revolutionized the lives of Ecuador’s poor and other traditionally marginalized groups.

“For example, he has totally changed the situation for people with disabilities,” she said.

Correa was first elected in 2007 on an anti-poverty platform, and has since dramatically expanded social services and welfare.

The rally packed Quito’s main square, Plaza Grande with cheering crowds, while a live band played traditional Andean music.

“There’s so much force in the people,” said Renaldo, a visitor from Argentina. “And the force of the people can’t be silenced,” he said.

Another visitor to Ecuador, Terry Marcille said the energy of the rally was overwhelming. “For me, it’s just so interesting to see the people and the culture,” she said. 

An opposition march passed through the city center in the early evening, following a similar route of a march that turned violent earlier this year. Opposition protesters are demanding the government scrap a proposed constitutional amendment that would eliminate presidential term limits. Under the current constitution, Correa is barred from running for office again, though opposition has accused the president of seeking to remain in power indefinitely. Correa easily won the last elections in 2013 with 57 percent support, and a lead of around 3 million votes over his closest opponent. That gap was equivalent to over one fifth of Ecuador’s population of 16 million. In Plaza Grande, nobody seemed concerned about the possibility of Correa running for office again. “Correa, one more time!” they chanted.

Adapted from an article first published by teleSUR English.

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