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  • Former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa speaks to welcomers.

    Former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa speaks to welcomers. | Photo: EFE

Published 24 November 2017

Hundreds gathered in the city of Guayaquil’s airport to welcome the former leader amid a crisis of leadership in the country.

Former president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, arrived back in the country for the first time since giving up his post in April, to defend the gains of his decade-long Citizen’s Revolution.

Ecuador: Moreno Calls for Rival PAIS Convention as Correa Set to Attend

Arriving in Guayaquil Friday night, hundreds gathered in the city’s airport to welcome the former leader. Hundreds more posted messages of welcome on social media under the hashtag #BienvenidoRafael.

Correa is to attend the PAIS Alliance movement’s convention, which will take place in Esmeraldas on December 3. The convention was called after the leaders of the party, including Secretary General Gabriela Rivadeneira, accused current Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno of betraying the Citizen’s Revolution.

"With emotion, excitement, and a heart full of gratitude we are waiting for you compatriot @MashiRafael Here we are the ones who can look you in the eyes !. #WelcomeRafael"

Correa has since lambasted Moreno for being a “traitor” and “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”, for having backed the policies of Ecuador's right-wing opposition, forging agreements with the country's most wealthy businesspeople to the detriment of the poor.

"We are going to expel the people who have betrayed the government program of Alianza Pais," Correa told AFP in Brussels. He said the "first" to be expelled should be Moreno, "the greatest traitor" who "is ruling with the right, with the bankers."

"In the Guayaquil airport with much emotion, supporters of President @MashiRafael are already there to receive him with affection, as he deserves it. #BienvenidoRafael"

A day earlier, Moreno announced a rival conference to take place with other members of the party — signaling the deepening wedge of division between PAIS Alliance members.

#MigrantsWithoutBorder also waiting for our beloved @MashiRafael. #RafaelThePeopleWithYou #WelcomeRafael

The party’s directorate expelled Moreno as president in early November on the grounds that his actions have harmed the party, and instead name Ricardo Patino, former foreign minister, as president.

Afterwards, a court ruled in favor of Moreno, but the directorate argued that the court has no legal basis for his reinstatement. Ecuador's Electoral Court is soon due to rule on who remains the party's president.

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