Ecuador’s newly-elected President has wasted no time in getting down to business on the day he was sworn in. Rafael Correa heralded his arrival as the country’s eighth president in a decade by announcing that a referendum on the Constitution will be held on the 18th of March. He told a hostile Congress that the current political institutions have let the country down and are badly in need of reform:
“I will call a popular referendum so that the sovereign Ecuadorian people would say yes or no to the constitutional assembly that is seeking to overcome the political, economic and social blockade the country is facing,” he said.
Some of Washington’s fiercest critics came together to witness the investiture. Bolivia’s Evo Morales was joined by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
But the US-educated Correa is seen as being more amenable towards the US than his contemporaries, particularly as Ecuador adopted the dollar as its official currency six years ago.