Correa Delgado, Rafael Vicente

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Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado (räfäāl´ vēsān´tā kōrā´ä delgä´ŧħō), 1963–, Ecuadorian economist and political leader, president of Ecuador (2007–), b. Guayaquil. A leftist economist (Ph.D Univ. of Illinois, 2001), he served briefly as minister of finance (2006) under interim President Alfredo Palacio before running as populist reformer in the 2006 presidential election. A friend of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez, Correa called for constitutional reform, restructuring Ecuador's foreign debt, antipoverty programs, and anticorruption measures. Although Correa placed second in the first round of voting, he won a solid majority after a runoff against businessman Álvaro Noboa. In 2007 he won a referendum on calling a national assembly to rewrite the constitution, and the resulting charter, which increased the president's and the government's powers, was adopted in 2008. Correa was reelected in 2009. He expanded access to education and health care, adopted socialist measures, and also generally brought political stability to Ecuador while being criticized by opponents and some allies as confrontational and bullying. He was elected to a third term in 2013.