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Brothers might battle for presidency in Ecuador

From Andres Lopez, For CNN
updated 10:18 AM EST, Thu March 8, 2012
Fabricio Correa, seen here in 2011, says his aim is to defeat his younger brother, Rafael Correa, in elections.
Fabricio Correa, seen here in 2011, says his aim is to defeat his younger brother, Rafael Correa, in elections.
  • Fabricio Correa files paperwork to register his political party
  • The 52-year-old businessman says he wants to run for president
  • His brother, Rafael Correa, is the incumbent
  • The siblings have publicly accused each other of corruption

Quito, Ecuador (CNN) -- Voters in Ecuador might have a chance to weigh in on a high-profile case of sibling rivalry.

Fabricio Correa, 52, filed paperwork to register a new political party Wednesday. His aim, he said, is to defeat his younger brother, incumbent President Rafael Correa, in elections next year.

"There is no legal security. There is too much corruption. Today, drugs are rampant. Crime has doubled. There is no investment. There are no jobs. The number of poor people has increased 50%," Fabricio Correa told CNN en EspaƱol on Wednesday.

Court ruling in a libel case a victory for Rafael Correa

Ecuadorian government officials declined to comment on those accusations.

The spat between the two brothers has played out publicly for years, with each accusing the other of corruption.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has accused his older brother of corruption.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has accused his older brother of corruption.

"The Big Brother," a book published by two journalists in 2010, has fueled the feud. The investigation alleged that companies connected with Fabricio Correa had received preferential treatment, with more than $167 million in government contracts.

The president denied that he knew about the contracts, called them unethical and terminated them. He also filed a libel lawsuit against the journalists who wrote "The Big Brother," but he pardoned them earlier this year.

Fabricio Correa has contended that the contracts were terminated because one company, Cosurca, refused to pay a $1.5 million bribe to the government.

On Wednesday, he repeated criticisms of his 48-year-old brother and other government officials.

"I have been taking care of my younger brother since he was little, and I have always know that he was like this. I thought that he had matured, and maybe he had, but the drug of power is very powerful, and even worse when he is surrounded by a perverse circle," Fabricio Correa said.

While the elder Correa has become a vocal member of Ecuador's opposition, one political analyst said critics must do more to find common ground among opponents of the current administration.

"The opposition has not been able to assemble an appropriate team and create a unified party that can oppose Rafael Correa," analyst Vladimir Serrano said.

Looking toward the 2013 presidential elections, Fabricio Correa said Wednesday that ideology would not be an obstacle for him to gain supporters from different political backgrounds.

"I am like an archer. I stand in the center, and if they throw me one way, I fly to the right, and if they throw me to the other side, I fly to the left," he said.

Fabricio Correa said Wednesday that he had filed more than 200,000 signatures with election authorities Wednesday requesting approval for his political party, known as EQUIPO (the Spanish word for team) -- which he said stands for equality, progress and order.

Election authorities have a month to evaluate the application.

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