Ecuador election, 19th February (user search)
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May 07, 2021, 02:30:53 PM

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  Ecuador election, 19th February (search mode)
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Sir John Johns
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« on: February 13, 2017, 03:34:10 PM »

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Well, there are Ecuadorian politicians with even worse first name like this candidate in local elections in the 1990s:


Interestingly, another guy named Hitler (Hitler Abarca) was elected mayor of Piñas, El Oro, in the 1990s, also as a candidate of the late CFP.

Now my very long and detailed take on the next Ecuadorian general election (sorry for the English mistakes; if there is something you don’t understand please tell me):

Lenín Moreno is indeed the favorite but there is now a real possibility that he would be forced into a risky runoff; this would be the first time since 2006 that the Alianza País (AP) candidate isn’t elected in the first round.

On February 19, Ecuadorian voters will also elected the 137 members of the National Assembly and the 5 Ecuadorian members of the Andean Parliament. It is widely assumed that the AP will lost its two-third majority in the National Assembly. Nobody cares about the Andean Parliament election results.

A consulta (referendum) will also be held to approve or reject legislation prohibiting tax haven account holders and tax haven companies owners from holding elective office or being employed in the public service. The consulta was decided by President Rafael Correa in the wake of the Panama Papers, which revealed that several public officials – including the current attorney general and two directors of Petroecuador (the state-owned oil company) – owned undeclared offshore companies in Panama. Not incidentally, the main right-wing opposition presidential candidate, Guillermo Lasso, is the owner of several companies in Panama which means that, in the hypothetical case Lasso is elected president and the consulta somehow pass, he will be forced to sell his Panamanian companies in the weeks following his inauguration.

As previously mentioned by CrabCake, the election is taking place in a quite difficult context for the AP as Ecuador has been hit by recession and as the government has been recently plagued by a series of corruption scandals. After a decade in power, the AP begins to face voter fatigue as previously shown in the last local elections: on February 23, 2014 (“23F”), the ruling party scored its first major electoral setback when its mayoral candidate were almost all defeated in the major cities of the country. The two last years have been also marked by a major increase in social and political protests, culminating in the June 2015 demonstrations – the largest protest movement since 2005 – which forced the Ecuadorian government to withdraw controversial tax hikes.


As shown in this home made graph (using data from Cedatos), Correa’s approval sharply declined starting from January 2015 and hit an all-time low of 35% in May 2016. Since then, the outgoing president has recovered a little with an approval rate standing at 42% and a disapproval rate standing at 52% in December 2016.

Fortunately for the AP, the opposition remains deeply divided, not only along ideological lines, but also because of personal rivalries. Faithful to its long tradition of incomprehensible internal disputes, the Ecuadorian Right has been unable to unite behind a single candidate, with the two major right-wing parties, Creating Opportunities (CREO) and the Social Christian Party (PSC), running each their own presidential candidate. In total, there are seven opposition candidates running for president and an even larger number of opposition parties running in the legislative elections.

Political and electoral system

The Executive Branch

The President is the head of state and government of Ecuador and is directly elected by voters to serve a four-year term. The president is elected using a two-round system in which a second round is held if no candidate has won an absolute majority or if no candidate has won at least 40% of the vote with a 10% lead over the runner-up. If required, a runoff will be held on April 2.

Like in most South American countries, the president wields extensive powers, being the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and having authority to dissolve the National Assembly once in his term, to call a consulta, and to fully or partially veto a bill. During his terms in office, Correa has made a wide use of the latter prerogative, including the periods (2007-2008, 2013-2017) during which the AP has hold an absolute majority in the house.

In December 2015, a controversial amendment abolishing term limits for president and other elected officials (assemblymen, prefects, mayors) was passed by the National Assembly. In what was seen as a concession to the opposition, it was however specified that the amendment will only enter in force on May 24, 2017, which concretely means that President Correa and two-term assemblymen are currently barred from running for a third consecutive term in office in the February 2017 election.

The Vice President of Ecuador is elected on the same ticket as the president. The vice president replaces the president in case of temporary or permanent absence, the latter case having happened no less than four times since the restoration of democracy in 1979: in 1981 (death of Jaime Roldós in a plane crash), 1997 (impeachment of Abdalá Bucaram by Congress), 2000 (overthrow of Jamil Mahuad), and 2005 (impeachment of Lucio Gutiérrez by Congress).

Traditionally, the vice president plays only a ceremonial role and isn’t involved with day-to-day politics. For example, Lenín Moreno (who served as vice president from 2007 to 2013) dedicated most of his time in office on improving the situation of disabled people, a very consensual and non-partisan issue. There are however few exceptions: Alberto Dahik (in office from 1992 to 1995) was very influential in the drafting and the implementation of the economic agenda of then-president Sixto Durán Ballén; similarly, current vice president, Jorge Glas (in office since 2013), has been put in charge of various economic policies, including the “change of the productive matrix”, i.e. the reduction of the dependence of the Ecuadorian economy on oil exports.

The Legislative Branch

The unicameral legislature, the National Assembly, is composed of 137 members elected in a single round of voting and serving four-year terms:

  • 15 national assemblymen are elected on a national list; their seats are allocated using the Webster method
  • 116 provincial assemblymen and district assemblymen are elected in 31 multi-member constituencies corresponding to the 24 Ecuadorian provinces, with the three most-populated provinces being subdivided into four (Guayas, Pichincha), or two (Manabí) electoral districts; their seats are allocated using the d’Hondt method
  • 6 assemblymen from abroad are elected in three electoral districts representing Ecuadorians living outside the country; their seats are allocated using the d’Hondt method

Panachage is allowed but strongly dissuaded by political officials who usually urge voters to vote for the whole party list. Write-in and independent candidacies are not permitted. Ecuadorian parties are required by law to have an equal number of men and women across their candidate lists with the candidates being listed alternatively by gender. Despite this provision, gender parity is far from being a reality in Ecuadorian politics as women currently account for only 38.2% of members of the National Assembly.

Legislative elections in Ecuador are usually characterized by a high number of blank and null ballots cast (respectively 13.3% and 8.8% of the votes cast in the 2013 national assemblymen’s election) compared to the presidential election (1.9% and 7.2% of the votes cast in the 2013 presidential election). Among the reasons explaining such a high number of invalid ballots are the low personalization of the legislative election compared to the presidential race, the complex and constantly changing rule regulating the legislative election, and the general contempt for political parties and parliamentary institutions, a legacy of Ecuador's tumultuous political history.

Voting is compulsory for all citizens between the age of 18 and 65, excepting the illiterates. Voting is voluntary for voters aged 16 to 18 and those over 65. Men and women vote in separate polling stations, which means that exact results by gender will be provided.

The Judicial Branch

The judicial branch comprises notably the Constitutional Court of Ecuador (CCE), which verifies the constitutionality of laws and decrees, and the National Court of Justice (CNJ), which acts like a court of cassation. Justices of the CNJ and judges are appointed and removed by the Board of Judicature, an institution that has been criticized for its supposed lack of independence from the executive power; notably, its current chairman previously served as interior and justice minister under Correa. Ecuador's judicial system is widely seen as slow, corrupt, inefficient, and too much subservient to the government. Worth mentioning here that it has been true for decades and isn’t a novelty introduced by Correa’s administration.
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Sir John Johns
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 03:35:36 PM »

The Electoral Institutions

The fourth branch of the government consists of the electoral institutions, the most important of which being the National Electoral Council (CNE), whose role is to administering the election and the consulta processes. In that regard, it is responsible for verifying the validity of the signatures gathered to register a political organization or to organize a popular initiative consulta (a number of valid signatures accounting for 5% of the electoral roll is required to automatically force a consulta).

Theoretically an independent body, the CNE has been widely criticized for its partiality. Additionally, and like its predecessors, it has been plagued by incompetence (vote counting usually takes weeks), its lack of transparency, and the politicization and lack of qualification of its members.

In recent months, the CNE has been embroiled in a series of controversies. In May 2014, it nullified through a secretive process 66% of the signatures gathered by ecological groups to force a consulta on oil extraction in the Yasuní National Park, thus preventing that a consulta on that issue takes place. Later in the year, the CNE refused, on dubious grounds, to provide opposition parties the forms required to collect signatures and force a consulta on indefinite reelection for elected officials.

In January 2015, the renewal of the CNE members turned farcical when one of its newly appointed members abruptly resigned after only six days in office. It was later revealed that her substitute didn’t even meet the legal requirements to be a member of the CNE.

In June 2015, a former minister under Correa turned opponent claimed that about 5,550 Ecuadorian emigrants (or more probably people usurping the identity of Ecuadorian emigrants) have voted in the 2014 local elections despite not being legally able to do so. In October 2016, one of the CNE auditors resigned, citing irregularities in the electoral register.

This long series of scandals has largely undermined the credibility and the legitimacy of the CNE, which isn’t held in high esteem by the opposition parties. Even if elections in Ecuador are overwhelmingly free and fair, the discredit of the CNE could be problematic, especially in case of close results.

The Transparency and Social Control Branch

The 2008 constitution created a new branch of government, the so-called Transparency and Social Control Branch (FTCS), whose functions include the fostering of civil participation, the promotion of transparency, and the fight against corruption. The FTCS’s main body is the Council for Public Participation and Social Control (CPCCS), which has replaced the national legislature as the institution in charge of organizing and monitoring the selection process of various state officials (attorney general, comptroller general, members of the CNE, heads of independent agencies, and members of the Board of Judicature).

The establishment of the CPCCS was supposed to end the politicization in the appointment process of senior officials, but the new institution has been widely criticized for its overall tendency to appoint officials close to the government in lieu of the most competent officials. Every opposition presidential candidates seem to agree on the outright abolition of the CPCCS, which they considered as a waste of money.

Political parties and movements

Any candidate for elected office is required to be registered with a political party or political movement. Political parties can only be registered at the national level; political movements can be registered at the national, provincial, or cantonal level. Political parties and movements are permitted to form electoral alliances and to run joint lists. Electoral alliances may however vary from one place to another; for example, Pachakutik’s Chimborazo provincial party runs a joint list with the AP while the two parties run one against another in the rest of the country and at the national level.

To be registered, a political party is required to have a number of members equal to 1.5% of the total registered voters in the most recent nationwide election (roughly 175,000 members) with at least 40% of the members living in a province whose population accounts for 5% or less of the total national population. To be registered, a national movement is required to gather a number of signatures equal to 1.5% of the total registered voters in the most recent nationwide election with at least 40% of the signatories living in a province whose population accounts for 5% or less of the total national population. Voters are unable to be a member of/to sign for more than one political organization.

A national political party or movement is automatically deregistered if it has failed to win at least 4% of the valid votes cast in two consecutive plurinominal nationwide elections except in case it has managed to elect at least three assemblymen, or at least 8% of the total number of mayors, or a municipal councilor in every canton of the country.

Traditionally, political officials show low loyalty toward political parties with party switching being a common practice. It’s also frequent to see the forging of alliances between parties of apparent opposing ideologies; for example, in 1997, President Bucaram was removed from office by an alliance of congressmen ranging from the right to the far left; in the 2013 local elections, the prefecture of Loja province was won by a coalition between CREO and far left elements. As you can imagine, this sort of unholy alliances generally doesn’t last long.

Background

In February 2013, President Rafael Correa (AP) was re-elected in the first round to a third consecutive term in office, winning 57.2% of the vote against 22.7% for his closest rival, Guillermo Lasso, who ran as the candidate of the conservative/christian democratic CREO. Former president (2002-2005) Lucio Gutiérrez, the leader of the right-wing populist January 21 Patriotic Society Party (PSP, or SP), who had placed second in 2009 with 28.2%, placed an unimpressive third with 6.7%. The other presidential candidates were Mauricio Rodas (3.9%), running for the center-right United Society for More Action (SUMA); populist right-wing banana tycoon Álvaro Noboa (3.7%), running as the candidate of the Institutional Renewal Party of National Action (PRIAN); Alberto Acosta (3.3%), running as the joint candidate of the indigenist Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement – New Country (MUPP-NP, or PK), and the far left Democratic People’s Movement (MPD); Norman Wray (1.3%), running for the leftist Rupture 25; and finally Nelson Zavala (1.2%), running as the candidate of the arch-populist Ecuadorian Roldosist Party (PRE).


Note: the urban/rural breakdown must be taken with a grain of salt as “urban” parishes as defined by the Ecuadorian government correspond to the parishes constituting the seats of the cantons; therefore some of them are actually only very small towns. Conversely, several of the “rural” parishes (for example Calderón, a very populated suburb of Quito) can be legitimately considered as being urban.

In the concomitant legislative elections, the AP won 100 seats (out of 137) against 11 for CREO, 6 for the PSC (which had endorsed Lasso in the presidential election), 5 for Avanza – a nominally social democratic ally of the AP –, 5 for PK, 1 for the SUMA, 1 for the PRE, and 3 for regional parties. The MPD, Rupture 25, and the Socialist Party-Broad Front (PS-FA) – a leftist party allied to the AP – failed to gain seats.


With the AP holding a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, Correa has been able since 2013 to pass important legislation with little parliamentary opposition and to amend the constitution without being forced to hold a referendum. Most notably, the outgoing president has succeeded in enacting controversial laws that strengthened state control over civil society and media.

Nevertheless, Correa’s third term in office has been far less successful than his two first terms. As previously mentioned, the president scored his first electoral setback during the February 23, 2014 local elections, when the urban voters expressed their concerns about the president’s perceived growing authoritarianism by voting against the AP mayoral candidates.

Later in that year, the economic situation began to deteriorate, forcing the government to take a series of unpopular measures to address the growing trade and budget deficits. In June 2015, controversial tax increases triggered thousands of protesters to take the streets of the country’s major cities. The magnitude of the protest movement forced the president to back off and adopt, at least provisionally, a more conciliatory stance.

However, in December 2015, the National Assembly adopted several controversial constitutional amendments, which a large majority of the Ecuadorian public wanted to be passed through a consulta. Correa’s last months in office have been finally marked by the devastating April 2016 earthquake and by a succession of corruption scandals.
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Sir John Johns
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 03:36:46 PM »

Decree 16

An abrasive personality who can’t stand contradiction and a populist who distrusts intermediate bodies, Correa has adopted an authoritarian stance toward critical social movements. On June 4, 2013, the president signed the Decree 16, which established the post of National Secretary of Political Management with broad powers to regulate the creation, the registration, and the financing of NGOs. The decree also gave the government the right to dissolve, with no right of appeal, any NGO that has engaged into “partisan political activities”.

This new power of dissolution was first used in December 2013, when the government ordered the shutdown of the Fundación Pachamama, an environmental and indigenous organization whose several of its members had allegedly participated into a violent protest against oil extraction in Amazon.

In September 2014, both USAID and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation shut their offices in Ecuador, citing tighter regulations and hostility of the Ecuadorian government as reasons of their departure.

In December 2014, the Correa administration announced its intention to expel the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) – the most important indigenous organization in Ecuador – from its historical headquarters in Quito. The state-owned building, which has been gracefully loaned by every single Ecuadorian government (including the conservative ones) since 1991, was officially planned to be converted into a drug rehab center. However, in a television broadcast, Correa hinted that the true reason of the evicting was that the CONAIE had used the building for political activities (i.e. to organize demonstrations against the government). After a series of protests and the occupation of the building by indigenous activists, the government was forced to reverse its decision and let the CONAIE continue to use its headquarters at will.

In September 2015, it was announced that the process of legal dissolution of Fundamedios, a press freedom watchdog organization, had been initiated on the grounds that the NGO had engaged into political activities by publishing tweets linking to websites critical of the Correa administration. The announcement caused such an outcry throughout Ecuador and abroad that the government eventually relented and suspended the process of dissolution.

Nevertheless, in August 2016, the ministry of Education ordered the legal dissolution of the 72-year-old National Union of Teachers (UNE) – arguably one of the most powerful unions in Ecuador – on the vague pretext it failed to comply with regulations. The UNE – which was linked to the far left MPD – used to be an outspoken supporter of Correa until the late 2000s; the episode illustrates the rupture between the AP and segments of the left that were initially favorable toward Correa and his “Citizens’ Revolution”.

The “criminalization” of social movements

Since Correa’s coming to power, the Ecuadorian courts have adopted a punitive attitude towards anti-government protesters and have, at time, used the ill-defined charges of “terrorism” and “sabotage” to jail opposition protesters.

For example, in March 2012, ten young far left activists were arrested in Quito by the police in possession of cell phones, political books, Che Guevara shirts, Sandinista flags, and discs of protest songs. The so-called “Ten from Luluncoto” were accused of being part of an illegal Maoist group and having planned to detonate pamphlet bombs. Allegations of police brutality quickly surfaced; notably, one of the accused was forced to lay down on the floor despite her pregnancy. In spite of weak evidence, the Ten from Luluncoto were sentenced in February 2013 to one year each in prison for attempted terrorism. In December 2013, a court of appeal confirmed the sentences, which were subsequently declared expunged in June 2016.

In June 2013, Mery Zamora, a former head of the UNE and a member of the MPD, was sentenced to eight years in prison for “sabotage”. During the infamous September 30, 2010 (“30S”) police mutiny, she, allegedly, had incited students to join an anti-government protest, thus interfering with “delivery of public service”. Zamora’s conviction was however overturned by the National Court of Justice in May 2014, much to the displeasure of Correa.

In December 2013, seven right-wing protesters, accused of having forcibly enter the premises of the public-owned Ecuador-TV during the 30S, were sentenced to four years in prison for “sabotage” (it turns out that one of them just applauded the protest); six additional accused remained at large with two of them having been given asylum in the Czech Republic. In July 2015, Correa pardoned two of the sentenced but, in February 2016, the five other convicted seen their sentences being altered to 18 months in prison for disrupting a public service.

The entering in force in August 2014 of a new penal code, providing a narrowed definition of “sabotage” and “terrorism”, has not entirely stopped the abuses. According to Human Rights Watch, in April 2015, three women protesting outside a prison in Quito against prisoners’ transfer were arrested and charged with sabotage and terrorism for having shout “torture at the interior ministry”. The three women spent 18 days in prison before the charges were eventually dropped.

The Organic Communication Law

On June 14, 2013, the National Assembly adopted the highly controversial Organic Communication Law (LOC), which defined information as a public good and guaranteed a constitutional right to a “verified, contrasted, precise, and contextualized” information. Among other things, the LOC prohibited “media lynching” and mandated the creation of the office of Superintendent of Information and Communication (Supercom), in charge of regulating media content and evaluating “media lynching” accusations. The LOC also provided an equal distribution of broadcast frequencies with 33% of the frequencies being allocated to public media outlets, 33% to private media outlets, and 34% to community media outlets.

During its first three years of existence, the Supercom has imposed no less than 398 penalties, 391 of which having been imposed on privately-owned media and 7 on public-owned media.

Some of the sentences imposed by the Supercom are just surreal. In January 2014, cartoonist Bonil was fined and forced to “rectify” a caricature that mocked a police raid on two opponents’ homes. El Universo, the newspaper that published the cartoon, had to pay a fine of $90,000. Bonil was again fined in February 2015, this time for “socio-economic discrimination” after he had published a caricature making fun of the apparent illiteracy of AP assemblyman Agustín Delgado, an Afro-Ecuadorian professional soccer turned politician. In the case, Bonil was defended by Lenín Hurtado, himself an Afro-Ecuadorian and the son of Jaime Hurtado, the first ever Afro-Ecuadorian to have run for president.

In February 2015, Teleamazonas became the first ever media to be sentenced for “media lynching” after it was condemned by the Supercom to publicly apologize to Luis Chiriboga, the notoriously corrupt president of the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF). Teleamazonas was sentenced for having aired a satirical puppet show mocking Chiriboga and depicting him as buying votes in order to ensure his re-election at the head of the FEF. Ironically, Chiriboga was himself later sentenced to ten years in prison for money laundering.

In May 2015, the newspaper La Hora was fined for not having given sufficient coverage to the mayor of Loja’s official rendering of accounts, an event ruled by the Supercom as “being of public interest”.

In the last few years, the Ecuadorian journalistic landscape has evolved, and not for the better. In August 2014, the 32-year old centrist newspaper Hoy ceased to exist due to financial problems caused, according to the newspaper’s director, by excessively high fines from the Supercom, advertising boycott from the state, difficulties to find private investors, and cancellation by the government of contracts with the Hoy group for printing schoolbooks.

On January 27, 2014, the LOC – which originally banned foreigners living outside Ecuador from owning medias “of national scope” - was amended by the government to permit the sale of the prominent opposition newspaper El Comercio to the controversial Mexican media tycoon Remigio Ángel González. A secretive figure, González, while being himself a conservative, has been known for seeking good relationship with host governments, no matter of their political ideologies, and for influencing the editorial line of his media outlets in favor of the ruling party in countries like Nicaragua and Guatemala. Thanks to his cordial relations with the Ecuadorian government, González has been able to build an enormous media empire in Ecuador, in apparent contradiction with the LOC’s stated objective of tackling media monopoly and oligopoly.
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Sir John Johns
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 03:37:32 PM »

President Correa and the Internet

The creation of the offense of “media lynching” was widely seen as hypocritical as Correa regularly bullies his (real or imagined) opponents during his weekly television program named Enlace sabatino. For example, in December 2013, he namely denounced and make xenophobic attacks against Carlos Zorrilla, a Cuban-American environmental activist living in Ecuador and the author of a guidebook explaining rural communities how to resist extractive activities.

In January 2015, Correa revealed during his TV-show the real identities and the addresses of three Internet users who had insulted him or made death threats against him on social networks. During that same TV-program, he called his supporters to identify the person – described by the president as a CIA-funded far right activist using a complex computer software “similar to those employed to locate Osama bin Laden” – who authored Crudo Ecuador, a satirical and not really sophisticated Facebook page that created memes mocking Ecuadorian politicians or the dangerous driving of the average Ecuadorian. Few weeks later, the creator of Crudo Ecuador – actually a reluctant Correa voter – announced he will no longer update his web page as he had received death threats that included specific details about his identity, his location, and his family.

The Ecuadorian government has also several times used copyright law to censor critics on the Internet. Videos, photos, accounts, and websites have been blocked or took offline after complaints from Ares Right, a shady Spanish firm acting apparently on behalf of the Ecuadorian government. For example, in 2013, YouTube blocked access for several weeks to a documentary about resistance against mining activities in Imbabura Province. That same year, leaked Ecuadorian intelligence documents about the purchase by the government of equipment for domestic surveillance were took down from Scribd, and later from Dropbox, after Ares Rights had sent a DMCA notice.



In February 2014, this image was also took down from Twitter due to “copyright violation”, the copyright claim being over the Enlace sabatino logo.

In July 2015, it was revealed that the National Secretariat of Intelligence (SENAIN) was one of the many national intelligence services which have a contractual relationship with Hacking Team, an Italy-based company that specializes in cyber-spying. The following month, the Ecuador Transparente website leaked documents showing illegal spying from the SENAIN on prominent opposition leaders, critical journalists, and environmental activists.

A social conservative turn

A devout Catholic, Correa has recently angered feminist and pro-choice organizations by keeping a conservative stance on social issues.

In October 2013, during the debates on the new penal code, three AP assemblywomen introduced a motion to legalize abortion for all women in case of rape. According to the then very outdated penal code, abortion in case of rape was only legal in case the pregnancy threatened the mother’s life or, more bizarrely, in case the rape victim was “idiot and demented”. The motion received the support of about twenty AP assemblymen. However, Correa labeled the supporters of the motion as “traitors” and threatened to resign if the motion passed. The motion was then quickly withdrawn, effectively killing debate on abortion. The National Assembly only changed the wording of the penal code by replacing “idiot and demented” by more PC terms. The three assemblywomen who had introduced the motion were later suspended for a month from the AP.

In February 2015, Correa announced the abandonment of the Enipla – a plan for preventing teenage pregnancy (a major health issue in Ecuador) and promoting condom use – on the grounds it had been infiltrated by “abortionist and hedonistic” groups. The Enipla was subsequently replaced by the Family Plan Ecuador, a program that put an emphasis on abstinence-only sex education. The choice of a Catholic activist – allegedly linked to the Opus Dei – to head the new program was well received by pro-life groups and the right-wing opposition, but was widely criticized by pro-choice and feminist organizations. These latter got even more upset when Alexis Mera, the legal secretary to the president (and also a former associate of PSC president Febres Cordero during the 1980s), said, while commenting on the issue, that “the state must teach women to postpone their sex life as well as their conception in order to obtain their degrees”. Mera’s comments were later condemned by the government.

Nevertheless, Correa’s third term in office also saw the adoption of measures favorable to the LGTB community: in April 2013, the National Assembly passed a law approving same-sex civil unions (Correa is personally opposed to same-sex marriage) and allowing citizens to change their gender on legal documents. The Ecuadorian government also made some efforts – deemed as insufficient by the LGTB community – to close down clinics that proposed gay conversion therapy after it was revealed that several of these clinics routinely used torture and rape to “cure” their homosexual patients.

The change of the productive matrix and its limits

On the economic front, Correa’s grand idea has been the “change of the productive matrix” (cambio de la matriz productiva), i.e. the diversification of Ecuador's primary export based economy into an industrial and knowledge-based economy. Oil money has been used to finance infrastructure projects (hydroelectric dams, renovation of the road network, airports), to increase the higher education budget (construction of an ultramodern university in Yachay, Imbabura) and to develop new industries (oil refining, shipbuilding, steel, and metalworking).

This ambitious policy has been so far largely unsuccessful as petroleum continues to represent more than 50% of the country’s exports and remains a vital source of revenue for the Ecuadorian state. Worse, several of the government’s flagship industrial projects have been plagued by cost overruns, mismanagement, corruption, and allegations of violations of labor and environment laws.

In April 2014, four Chinese workers were killed in an explosion while working at the Sopladora hydroelectric project in Azuay. In December 2014, thirteen workers (including three Chinese) perished following the collapse of a pressure well during the construction of the Coca Codo hydroelectric dam in the Amazonian part of the country.

In July 2015, the former rector of the Yachay Tech University criticized the management of the recently opened university, denouncing the overpaying of staff members and the prolonged absence from Ecuadorian soil of three of the four members of the university’s management committee.

Meanwhile, the rehabilitation of the Esmeraldas oil refinery, initially estimated at $187 million in 2008, ultimately cost $1.2 billion. Similarly, the building of a mega-refinery in Manta, Manabí, initially planned to be completed by 2013, is still ongoing and possibly will never see the light of day.

The end of the Yasuní-ITT Initiative

On August 15, 2013, Correa announced the abandon of the Yasuní-ITT Initiative (the perpetual suspension of oil extraction in the Yasuní National Park in return for payments from the international community) and the opening to oil drilling of the Yasuní National Park, one of the most biologically diverse area in the world and home to the Waoranis (an indigenous people which remained uncontacted until the 1950s) and to two uncontacted indigenous tribes, the Taromenane and the Tagaeri.

According to Correa, oil drilling would help reduce poverty (“the biggest polluter” in the president’s own words) and will only have a minimal impact on the environment (oil drilling would allegedly affect only 1% of the park) with temporary “ecological trails” being built to have access to the oil fields instead of permanent roads. The building of permanent asphalted roads would indeed provoke an uncontrolled influx of settlers in the area. The president also rejected the idea of organizing a consulta on oil drilling in the Yasuní National Park, arguing that the issue has been “politicized”.

The decision led to immediate protests in Quito and a campaign to gather signatures and force a consulta on oil extraction in the Yasuní National Park was started by the so-called YASunidos, a group of environmentalist activists. The petition campaign was supported by the CONAIE and various left-wing politicians. The CNE however rejected the petition, claiming that about 66% of the gathered signatures were invalid. Oil extraction in the Yasuní National Park began in September 2016.

Concerns persist about the actual impact of oil extraction in the Yasuní National Park, especially after it was revealed that Petroamazonas, a state-owned oil company, had illegally built a permanent road inside the park.
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Sir John Johns
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 03:38:39 PM »

The mega-mining projects

Unlike some other Latin American countries (like Bolivia, or Chile), Ecuador doesn’t have a large mining industry. There are however several mega-mining projects under development. Such projects face a strong opposition from the local indigenous population, who fears the environmental consequences of mega-mining and the future competition for land and water access (two major issues in Ecuadorian highlands) with mining industry.

Among the most controversial mining projects are: the Llurimagua Project (copper and molybdenum mining) in the ecologically diverse Intag Valley (Imbabura, northern highlands); the Quimsacocha Project (gold mining) in Azuay Province (southern highlands) which was rejected by the local population through an unofficial consulta; the El Mirador Project (copper, silver, and gold mining) in the Zamora Chinchipe Province (southern Amazon); and the San Carlos Panantza (copper mining) in the Morona Santiago Province (southern Amazon).

In the two latest sites, tension is very high between the local Shuar (a Jivaroan ethnic group) indigenous population and the Chinese mining contractors. In December 2014, José Tendetza, a prominent anti-mining activist who opposed the El Mirador Project, was found murdered; two suspects in the murder were arrested but later acquitted. In December 2016, a policeman was killed in San Carlos Panantza during violent clashes between Shuar protesters and the police; Correa declared a state of emergency in the whole Morona Santiago Province and denounced the Shuar protesters as a “paramilitary and semi-criminal” group. Later in the month, eleven soldiers were captured and held briefly in hostage by the Sarayaku, a Kichwa indigenous community living in the Pastaza Province, in response to the proclamation of state of emergency in the neighboring province of Morona Santiago. In January 2017, two Ecuadorian military were again briefly held in hostage by members of a Shuar community in Taisha Canton (Morona Santiago Province).

Another issue between the Ecuadorian government and the indigenous organizations is the passage in June 2014 of a new law regulating the use of water. The bill was criticized by the CONAIE and small farmers organizations for, allegedly, giving precedence in access to water to agribusiness and mining companies over small landowners. The law was also decried for favoring a central management of water over the previously existing management by decentralized local councils.

The 2013 local elections

On February 23, 2014, the AP suffered its first electoral defeat during the local elections. As I wrote before, the candidates for mayor of the ruling party were almost all defeated in the largest cities of the country: in Guayaquil, PSC incumbent mayor, Jaime Nebot, was re-elected in a landslide; in Quito the AP incumbent mayor was defeated by Mauricio Rodas despite (or because of) the heavily involvement of Correa in the electoral campaign; in Cuenca, the AP incumbent mayor lost a bid for re-election to Marcelo Cabrera, a left-wing opposition candidate. The AP was also defeated in its attempt to unseat Paúl Carrasco, the prefect of Azuay; Carrasco was elected in 2009 with the support of the AP but later broke with the government over the mega-mining projects. Among the explanations of the defeat of the AP were voter fatigue and concerns about the autonomy from the government of local authorities.

The 23F was also marked by the breakthrough of the AP’s minor allies, the PS-FA and Avanza; the two parties successfully branded themselves as an alternative to both the AP and the opposition. Conversely, one of the big losers of the election was CREO, which failed to capture a political office of national prominence beside the post of prefect of Loja. Due to their poor electoral results, the PRE, the PRIAN, and the MPD were deregistered; Rupture 25, which hadn’t at all participated in the 23F elections, also lost its registration.

In the aftermath of the election, the opposition to Correa began to organize itself in anticipation of the 2017 elections. In September 2014, a meeting was held in Guaranda between Nebot, Rodas, Carrasco, and prefect of Morona Santiago Marcelino Chumpi (PK); this led to the establishment in February 2015 of La Unidad (the Unity), a broad opposition alliance on the model of Venezuela’s Democratic Unity Roundtable which comprising the PSC, the SUMA, and Carrasco’s Juntos Podemos. CREO declined however to join the newly formed electoral alliance. Later that year, Avanza – which had broke its coalition with the AP – joined La Unidad.

In a twist of events, La Unidad collapsed in October 2016 after its components failed to agree on a joint presidential candidacy. The SUMA and Juntos Podemos choose then to rally the Alliance for Change, the CREO-led concurrent opposition coalition.

The economic crisis

During his two first terms in office, Correa had benefited from a strong economy with the country’s GDP growing at an average annual rate of 4.3% between 2006 and 2014. Starting from mid-2014, the economic situation worsened as Ecuador was severely affected by the collapse of oil prices and the concomitant appreciation of the US dollar, which is used by Ecuador as the national currency since 2000. A strong currency has indeed hurt the country’s agricultural exports (bananas, coffee, cocoa, shrimps, flowers) by making products from Ecuador more expensive in comparison to products from Peru and Colombia, two direct competitor countries that have both devalued their currency and had – unlike Ecuador – signed free-trade agreements with the US.

To make things worse, Ecuador was hit in April 2016 by an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, which resulted in the death of 661 people and material damage of $3 billion. The maritime provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabí were the most affected by the earthquake, the worst natural disaster in Ecuador since 1949.



As a consequence of poor economic conditions, the country’s GDP grew by a tepid 0.3% in 2015 and is expected by the IMF to have fallen by 2.3% in 2016 and to fell by 2.7% in 2017. Ecuador’s GDP is expected to increase again only in 2021.

Between June 2013 and June 2016, the unemployment rate rose from 3.9% to 5.3%; over the same period, the underemployment rate rose from 9.7% to 16.3%. The percentage of people living in poverty, which had significantly declined from 37.6% to 22.5% between 2006 and 2014, increased to 23.3% in 2015.

The protectionist turn

In order to address the ballooning trade and budget deficits, the Ecuadorian government has taken in recent months a series of controversial and unpopular measures.

The Chinese oil-backed loans being insufficient to cover the need in fresh money of the state, the government decided on June 2014 the return of Ecuador to international debt markets, six years after having partly defaulting on its foreign debt; the return to international markets was permitted by a controversial arrangement with Goldman Sachs under which half of Ecuador’s gold reserves were transferred for three years to the Wall Street firm in exchange for liquid assets.

In February 2015, tariffs on Colombian and Peruvian imports were introduced. The measure had however to be repealed shortly afterward as it turned out to violate the rules of the Andean Community; in any case, this led to the resignation of the minister of external trade, an avowed partisan of free trade.

In March 2015, import tariffs ranging from 5% to 45% were introduced on 2,800 products (mostly consumer goods like shoes, clothes, televisions, or car parts). The tariffs, which proved to be immediately very unpopular, were supposed to be only temporary but have been nonetheless renewed last year in the wake of the earthquake.

Paradoxically, after tough negotiations, Ecuador signed in November 2016 a free trade treaty with the European Union; the treaty is enthusiastically supported by the export-oriented agro-business but isn’t very popular with segments of the Ecuadorian left, including part of the AP, who feared that the treaty would put small farmers of the highlands out of business.

The Organic Law for Labor Justice

In April 2015, the Organic Law for Labor Justice was passed by the National Assembly. Among its provisions, the bill introduced cap on pensions, allowed the government to take over Ecuador's private pensions funds (including the largest one, the teachers’ retirement fund which was managed by the UNE) and relieved the Ecuadorian state from its constitutional obligation to provide the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS) the funds necessary to pay 40% of its annual expenses.

The law was widely criticized by independent trade unions and retirees’ organizations and led to the rupture in the coalition between the AP and Avanza with Avanza’s leader, Ramiro González, resigning from his post as industry minister. Himself a former head of the IESS, González claimed that without the 40% government mandatory contribution the financing of the IESS would be unsustainable within twelve years.
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Sir John Johns
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2017, 03:39:13 PM »

The Special Regime Organic Law for Galápagos Province

Later in the month, the National Assembly approved the Special Regime Organic Law for Galápagos Province which, among other things, abolished the wage subsidies granted to public servants and private-sector employees – increasing their salaries from respectively 100% and 75% – to offset the cost of living in a remote archipelago where most consumer goods have to be transported from the mainland. According to the law, the salaries would be recalculated according to a price index.

Additionally, the law would allow large foreign investment in tourist industry, possibly paving the way for mass tourism in the archipelago and the building of a controversial luxury mega-hotel with golf course and yacht harbor. Such provisions raised concerns about the environmental impact of the law and the economic survival of local small hoteliers. Additionally, the law abolished the financial autonomy of the Galápagos National Park and possibly gave the central government full powers to change the boundaries of the park.

The bill is very unpopular in the Galápagos and was opposed by the two assemblymen from the archipelago; one of them, elected for the AP, resigned from the party in protest of the law.

The tax hikes

In early June 2015, the government introduced two other contentious bills. Said to be inspired by the works of French economist Thomas Piketty, the first one, the so-called Redistribution of Wealth Organic Law, lowered the inheritance tax nil band from $68,000 to $35,000 and raised the maximum inheritance tax rate from 35% to 77.5%. According to the government, the objective of the bill was to break the economic power held by large family-owned business and permit the “democratization of ownership” (entrepreneurs would be permitted to pay part of the inheritance tax by distributing shares of their business to their employees).

The law sparked heavy criticisms from the business community who claimed that the new tax rate was confiscatory and that it would badly hurt the family-owned companies which account for about 80% of the Ecuadorian economy. The right-wing opposition denounced the law as an attack on private ownership, entrepreneurial spirit, and family. The law was also decried by various left-wing politicians who argued that the tax would generate only few additional revenue for the state and, more generally, that instead of creating new taxes, the government should rather ensure that the already existing taxes were actually paid by the wealthiest taxpayers (tax evasion is a big problem in Ecuador).

The second controversial law was the Organic Law Reforming the Organic Code of Territory Organization. The law’s avowed aim was to fight land speculation. Under the bill, the tax rate on capital gains over $8,496 would be raise from 10% to 75%. Legal experts described the law as being poorly written and incredibly complex. In any case, the announced increase in the capital gains tax raised concerns even among small-owners as the price of land has largely increased in recent years due to the massive improvement of the infrastructure system (construction of airports and bridges, improvement of the road network, electrification).

The two laws were decided by President Correa without prior consultation nor political debates and were planned to be quickly adopted by the National Assembly through urgent procedure. Critics pointed out that the true goal of the two laws wasn’t to reduce inequality in the country but instead to bring fresh money in the state’s coffers.

The June/July 2015 protests

The announcement of increase in inheritance and capital gains taxes triggered a month-long wave of protests (lasting from early June to early July 2015), the largest social unrest since the April 2005 demonstrations that forced then-president Lucio Gutiérrez out of office.

The beginning of 2015 was already marked by a growing social discontent. The marches organized on March 19 and on May 1 (Labor Day) by the CONAIE and the opposition workers’ unions drew a significant number of protesters. The May 1 demonstrations were historically noticeable as it was the first time that trade unions organized two concurrent marches: one organized by the United Workers’ Front (FUT), Ecuador’s largest trade union, and another one organized by the government-sponsored and recently created Confederation of United Workers (CUT).

However, the massive protest movement truly started on June 8, when thousands of upper- and middle-class demonstrators carrying black flags and calling for the resignation of Correa flooded the Shyris Avenue in Quito and gathered in front of the seat of the AP.

From there, the protest movement almost immediately spread to other major cities (Guayaquil, Cuenca, Loja, Machalá, Tulcán) with the social composition and the size of the demonstrations greatly varying from day to day and from place to place. Like the 2005 demonstrations – which were staged by an odd alliance between the PSC, the social-democratic Democratic Left (ID), the CONAIE, and various leftist outfits – the 2015 wave of protests involved a broad array of political and social groups which have little in common beside the slogan “Fuera Correa, fuera” (“Leave Correa, leave”): indigenous organizations, labor unions, right-wing activists, environmentalists, business community members, Galápagos islanders, pensioners, physicians, human rights defenders, feminists, students, and so on.

There was little unity and coordination between the various groups staging demonstrations. The CONAIE and the FUT avoided to march in the streets together with the right-wing groups. At the same time, Nebot and Lasso both staged concurrent demonstrations.

The two highest point of the month-long protests were: the gathering of between 50,000 (estimate of the government) and 375,000 (estimate of the opposition) protesters in the streets of Guayaquil on June 25, at the call of Mayor Nebot; and the four concurrent demonstrations (three staged by the opposition and one counter-demonstration sponsored by the government) that took place in Quito on July 2, with the biggest protest being those jointly staged by the CONAIE, the FUT, the physicians’ unions and leftist parties.

The movement of discontent seemed to have taken Correa by surprise. The president was then touring in Europe when the initially anti-tax protest flared in Quito. In first instance, the government responded by staging counter-demonstrations whose participants failed to meet the number of the anti-government protesters. State-owned medias then painted the protest wave as a right-wing conspiracy aiming at overthrowing Correa with the support of “reactionary Venezuelans” who had allegedly entered Ecuadorian territory.

Nevertheless, once he came back from Europe, Correa announced the withdrawal of the tax increases and called for a national dialogue with the opposition, a move in stark contrast with his usual confrontational style. This initially failed to stop the demonstrations but the protest movement definitely ran out of steam in early July with the pope’s official visit in Ecuador.

Other economic measures

Still looking for money, the Ecuadorian government announced in late 2016 a series of cost-cutting measures, including higher taxes on alcohol, soft drinks, and cigarettes, the abolition of several government departments, and the reduction of financial aid for local authorities. The government also launched an unpopular campaign to help Ecuadorians replacing their gas stoves by induction stoves, with the implicit aim of abolishing the very expensive gas subsidies.

In the aftermath of the April 2016 earthquake, Correa took several emergency measures: a provisional increase of 2% in the sales tax (except in the provinces hit by the earthquake), a one-off 0.9% levy on people whose wealth exceeded $1 million, a one-time 3% tax on company profits, and mandatory wage contributions for Ecuadorians earning more than $1,000 a month. The president has also suggested the possible sale of government assets and, in a major political turnaround, was forced to ask the IMF for help.

Nevertheless, the saving measures and the tax hikes taken by the government are considered by many observers as largely insufficient and it is expected that Correa’s successor, whoever he will be, will be forced to pass an extensive austerity plan.

The constitutional amendments

In December 2015, the National Assembly approved a package of 17 constitutional amendments, which were easily adopted thanks to the AP’s supermajority.

As previously mentioned, one of them abolished term limits for elected officials; another one lowered the age of eligibility to be President or Vice President from 35 to 30. One of the amendments also changed the wording in the Constitution of the definition of the army’s role, possibly permitting the military to assist the police in public security operations. Additional amendments included one which limited the scope of consulta on popular initiative, one which curbed the powers of the mayors, and another one which defined communication as a public service.

The passage of the constitutional package was obviously resisted by the opposition, which staged sizable protests and attempted, unsuccessfully, to collect signatures and force a consulta on the matter. According to polls, an overwhelmingly majority of the Ecuadorians supported the passage of the constitutional amendments through a consulta
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Sir John Johns
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2017, 03:40:01 PM »

The corruption scandals

Aside from the catastrophic earthquake, Correa’s last months in office have been marked by the revelations of several corruption scandals.

In April 2016, the Panama Papers revealed that various Ecuadorian senior officials held offshore companies in Panama. Among the cited names were Pedro Delgado (Correa’s own disgraced cousin and a former governor of the Central Bank of Ecuador); Attorney General Galo Chiriboga; and former Petroecuador director Álex Bravo (who had resigned his post only few days before the Panama Papers publication). Bravo was arrested the following month and accused of having benefit from improper contracts with Petroecuador via offshore companies owned by himself or by relatives.

The subsequent investigation soon unearthed more evidences of corruption in Petroecuador, notably that several officials of the state-own oil company had demanded a commission arising from Petrochina oil presales. Among the persons involved in the scandal was Carlos Pareja Yannuzzelli, a former Petroecuador director and an oil minister under Correa who had acted for years as the country’s energy czar. Being accused of having take bribes in exchange of helping companies to get contracts with Petroecuador, Pareja escaped arrest in September 2016 by fleeing Ecuador. In early February 2017, videos emerged on the Internet showing Pareja taking a lie detector test while claiming that Vice President Jorge Glas was aware of corruption in Petroecuador.

In November 2016, it was revealed that Marcos Párragas, a former adviser to Jorge Glas, had demanded a $200,000 bribe in exchange of attributing a broadcasting frequency to a regional audiovisual group.

The following month, the US Department of Justice disclosed that Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht has paid, since 2007, $33.5 million in bribes to Ecuadorian officials in exchange of contracts valued at $116 million. The Ecuadorian government tried, without success so far, to obtain from the US government the list of the people who had benefited from kickbacks from Odebrecht. In January 2017, a newspaper published a list of 18 politicians (only referred to by nicknames) allegedly involved in the scandal corruption. One of the mentioned person would be Jaime Nebot; the latter rejected however the accusations.

Political alliances, parties and candidates

The United Front (Frente Unidos)

An alliance of political parties that was formed around the ruling AP in September 2014, in the wake of the disastrous results of the 23F. The stated purpose of the United Front is to defend Correa’s record in government and to prevent the return of the “reactionary right” to power.

The main parties of the United Front are:

PAIS Alliance (Alianza PAIS)


The hymn of the Citizens’ Revolution.
(Is Ares Right aware of such a blatant copyright violation?)

Holding a two-third majority in the National Assembly, the PAIS Alliance (PAIS being the acronym of Proud and Sovereign Fatherland, also meaning “country” in Spanish) is Ecuador’s hegemonic party. It is also, by far, the most important party and the driving force of the United Front, especially after the departure from the ruling coalition of Avanza.

The AP was founded in 2006 as the PAIS Movement (MPAIS) by various left-wing politicians and academics in order to support the presidential candidacy of Correa, who ran on a Chávez-y platform; the party then didn’t field candidates in the concomitant legislative elections. Once in office, Correa called the election of a Constituent Assembly, which the MPAIS won in a landslide. Since then, the MPAIS/AP has remained the largest party in the national legislature, holding an absolute majority between 2007 and 2008 and since 2013, and a plurality between 2009 and 2013.

Officially, the AP supports the implementation of the “Socialism of the 21st Century” and advocates a complete renewal of the political system with the end of the partidocracia (the rule of the old corrupt political class) through a “Citizens’ Revolution”.

In practice however and unlike what happened in Venezuela, the AP has implemented few radical economic reforms. There was no extensive program of nationalization and no agrarian reform. The Correa administration only defaulted on Ecuador's foreign “illegitimate” debt and expanded social and infrastructure programs (thus building a powerful clientele network), a policy not very different, for the latter part, than that followed by Lucio Gutiérrez (the poverty rate actually declined at a faster pace under Gutiérrez than under Correa).

Also, once in power, the AP welcomed in its ranks a quite large number of veteran politicians coming from all over the political spectrum, including members of conservative parties like Alexis Mera, and the brothers Vinicio (who served under Correa as minister of tourism and minister of industrial production) and Fernando Alvarado (who served as national secretary of communication and is currently minister of tourism). In order to consolidate its grip over the country, the AP has also made alliance with various local corrupt caudillos: Mariano Zambrano (ex-PSC) in Manabí, Montgomery Sánchez (ex-PRE) in El Oro, Jimmy Jairala (ex-PRE) in Guayas, Marco Troya (ex-PRE) in Los Ríos, Patricio Cisneros (ex-PRE, ex-PSC) in Santa Elena.

In the late 2000s, several founding members of the AP have left the party to protest against the perceived absence of radical economic and political changes and the lack of internal democracy and transparency inside the ruling party. Indeed, as previously shown, Correa has little tolerance for criticism and has a tendency to want to control everything. As such, he had shown disdain towards the National Assembly, social movements, decentralized organizations, and even the AP’s allies. This tendency is reflected in the day-to-day management of the AP and its parliamentary caucus: there is little place for transparent debates in the ruling party and, ultimately, Correa is the only one who makes decision. It is still unclear how things will work with Correa out of the picture.


Ecuadorian Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Ecuatoriano, PSE)


Known until recently under the name of Socialist Party-Broad Front (PS-FA), the PSE is the AP’s masochist and schizophrenic tiny ally. A revolutionary Marxist party (on paper at least), the PS-FA was formed in 1995 by the merger of the old but declining Socialist Party and the Broad Front of the Left (FADI), the electoral vehicle of the Communist Party of Ecuador, a party that had failed to gain electoral traction. The merger didn’t really help the new party as it barely escaped deregistration in the early 2000s.

An early supporter of Correa, the PS-FA wasn’t well rewarded for its loyalty to the outgoing president: the AP usually doesn’t consult its allies before taking important political decisions, and Correa has only give Socialist Party members powerless posts like for example undersecretary of state or deputy to the Andean Parliament. This has led the party to divide itself over the pertinence of keeping the alliance with the AP; in 2013, a faction of the party ran in alliance with the anti-Correa left. After several heated congresses, the pro-Correa wing seems to have definitely taken control of the party. Nonetheless, the PSE has been further weakened when the National Confederation of Peasants, Indigenous, and Black Organizations (FENOCIN) – the second largest indigenous organization – decided to abandon its affiliation with the PSE to affiliate instead with the AP.

The PSE has endorsed Moreno as its presidential candidate, but is running separate lists in the legislative election. The party advocates a platform on the left of the AP, demanding notably an extensive agrarian reform. The PSE made recently headlines when it was announced it will run famous clown Tiko Tiko as its candidate for the post of assemblyman for Guayas’s 3rd district.


Unity First (Unidad Primero).


A Manabí regional party, it is basically the electoral vehicle of prefect of Manabí Mariano Zambrano, who was firstly elected to that post in 2004 as the candidate of the PSC. Zambrano’s own son, Mariano Zambrano Vera, is the lead candidate of the AP-Unity First alliance in the election of assemblyman for Manabí’s southern district.


Regional Autonomic Movement (Movimiento Autonómico Regional, MAR)


The MAR is an El Oro-based party led by Montgomery Sánchez, a former long-serving prefect (1996-2014) of El Oro. Sánchez began his political career as a member of the PRE before allying himself with the AP. He is the lead candidate of the AP-MAR alliance in the election of provincial assemblyman for El Oro.


Regional Action for Equity (Acción Regional por la Equidad, ARE)


The ARE is a Loja provincial party, which is led by Loja mayor and former assemblyman José Bolívar Castillo (the guy who thinks that his speeches are all of public interest).

Amazon Lives (Amazonia Vive)

It’s a party formed around 2014 by elected officials from the Amazonian part of the country to support oil extraction in the Yasuní National Park.

Other (largely irrelevant) parties member of the United Front are: the Drive Movement (Movimiento Conduce), a party led by a bus driver; the Ecuadorian Communist Party (Partido Comunista Ecuatoriano) and the Communist Party of Ecuador (Partido Comunista del Ecuador) (don’t ask me what is the difference between the two); the former guerrilla group Alfaro Lives, Dammit! (¡Alfaro Vive, Carajo!, AVC), the Chimborazo provincial Pachakutik party.
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Sir John Johns
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2017, 03:40:46 PM »

The presidential candidate of the United Front is Lenín Moreno (AP), 63, an atypical political figure. A former businessman, Moreno has been confined to a wheelchair since he was shot in the back by a robber. A passionate advocate of laughter therapy, he is the author of several books of jokes.

Chosen by Correa to be his vice president because of his atypical profile and his lack of political experience, Moreno dedicated most of his time in office (from 2007 to 2013) as vice president to improve the situation of disabled people, becoming the most popular politician in Ecuador and even earning the praise of the opposition. From 2013 until his selection as the AP presidential candidate in 2016, Moreno served as UN special envoy on disability and accessibility, a post specially created for him.

Despite being Correa’s handpicked successor, Moreno has expressed at time his disagreement with the outgoing president; notably, in 2015, he criticized the decision to amend the constitution to permit indefinite reelection. Moreno appears much more tolerant to criticism than Correa and has already called to dialogue with the opposition.

Moreno’s public image has been however tarnished in recent months by the revelation that he demanded and obtained from Ecuadorian government a $1.6 million annual budget while working for the UN in Geneva, and by his refusal to release his medical records.

Said to have been imposed on Moreno by Correa, Jorge Glas (AP), 47, is Moreno’s running mate. The outgoing president (since 2013), he has, unlike Moreno, played an important political role in the Correa administration. A bland technocrat who was picked by Correa to succeed Moreno partly because of his close ties with Chinese investors, Glas is a quite controversial figure: he had been notably accused of plagiarism in his university thesis and his father has fled to Paraguay after having been found guilty in a sordid affair of rape of a minor. More importantly, having assumed the role of supervisor of Ecuador’s economic and energy policy, he can be held responsible for the corruption in Petroecuador.

Running on Correa’s record of reducing poverty, Moreno has promised to keep in place the generous social programs and has proposed to raise the Human Development Voucher (Bono de Desarrollo Humano, BDH) from $50 to $150 for the most disadvantaged families. The AP presidential candidate has also pledged to develop higher education and to create 250,000 new jobs through the granting of tax exemptions for businesses that hire young people without work experience. At the same time, he has labeled the opposition’s proposals to cut taxes as fiscally “irresponsible” while showing little concern about the amount of the state’s debt.

The Alliance for Change (Alianza por el Cambio)

The Alliance for Change was formed in October 2016 by various opposition parties (most of them being on the right side of the political spectrum) to support the presidential candidacy of Guillermo Lasso. The main parties forming part of the Alliance for Change are:


Creating Opportunities (Creando Oportunidades, CREO)


Currently the largest opposition party, CREO (an acronym meaning “I believe in Spanish) was founded in 2011 by conservative politicians and businessmen to prepare the presidential candidacy of Guillermo Lasso. The party was later joined by politicians from the PSC, the ID, and the PRIAN. In 2013, Lasso emerged as the main opposition candidate while his party became the largest opposition party in the National Assembly. Nevertheless, the following year, CREO obtained disappointing results in the 23F local elections, failing to capture the mayoralty of a major city. In 2015, the party refused to join La Unidad, the newly formed opposition alliance, criticizing notably the inclusion of Avanza in that said alliance.

A party with strong ties to the business community, CREO is certainly the most pro-business party in Ecuador: lowering taxes is basically its solution to every single problem. Having also links to the Opus Dei, the party has, unsurprisingly, adopted a very conservative stance on social issues, being notably opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage.


United Society for More Action (Sociedad Unida Más Acción, SUMA)


A centrist party, the SUMA was founded in 2012 by Mauricio Rodas, a lawyer and a former vice president of the PSC youth wing. A presidential candidate in 2013, Rodas finished fourth with 3.9%; in the concomitant legislative election, the SUMA won a seat in the National Assembly, gained by jurist Ramiro Aguilar.

During the 23F elections, Rodas, in alliance with the leftist Vive Movement, successfully run for the post of mayor of Quito, defeating the AP incumbent. That same day, the SUMA also gain the mayoralties of large cities like Santo Domingo, Portoviejo, Manta, and Guaranda.

Once in office, Rodas choose to adopt a conciliatory approach towards the central government, but without much success. This moderate hero posture led however to the immediate departure from the SUMA of Aguilar, leading the party to lost its parliamentary representation. The SUMA was further weakened by several defections and by the collapse in Quito of the coalition between the SUMA and Vive.

The SUMA became a founding member of La Unidad, the opposition alliance formed in February 2015 with the PSC and Juntos Podemos, but left the alliance in October 2016 to join the CREO-led Alliance for Change.

Defining itself as a progressive and centrist party, the SUMA strongly supports an end of the confrontational style displayed by Ecuadorian politicians and the adoption of a more polite and conciliatory political discourse on the model of Bachelet’s Chile or Mujica’s Uruguay. The SUMA mostly recruited its membership among the upper and middle-class, attracting notably many lawyers in its ranks.


Together We Can (Juntos Podemos)

A center-left political party, Juntos Podemos isn’t registered with the CNE but still endorsed Lasso’s presidential candidacy and fields candidates in the legislative elections as part of the Alliance for Change.

Juntos Podemos was founded in 2015 by several opposition left-wing politicians who had grown disillusioned with the Correa government. Among them were Paúl Carrasco (prefect of Azuay), Mónica Chuji (a former secretary of communications under Correa), and Fernando Burbano (a former MPAIS member of the Constituent Assembly). Juntos Podemos became a founding member of the La Unidad opposition alliance. It fielded Carrasco as its candidate in the alliance’s presidential primary but, after Carrasco’s defeat at the hands of Cynthia Viteri in September 2016, choose to abandon La Unidad and join the Alliance for Change the following month.


Amauta Yuyay Independent Movement (Movimiento Independentiente Amauta Yuyai, MIAY)


The MIAY was founded in 1998 under the name Amauta Jatari as the political arm of the Evangelical Indigenous Federation (FEINE), the third largest indigenous organization in Ecuador. Once a national party, the MIAY is currently only active in the Chimborazo province. The party is famous for its political opportunism having been allied at a time or another with basically every single national party but the AP and PK, its arch-rival. In the 2000s, the MIAY was successively allied to the PRE, the PRIAN, the PSC, the PSP. In 2013, it tried to forge a weird alliance with Rupture 25 (despite the social liberal platform of this latter) only to form latter an electoral coalition with the SUMA. In the 2014 local elections, the party ran a joint list with Avanza. This perpetual change of electoral alliances and the nepotism in the party have confused voters, and the MIAY has ultimately failed to even unite behind its banner the whole Chimborazo evangelical indigenous community.

A bunch of irrelevant local parties are also part of the Alliance for Change, including notably the Guayas provincial Pachakutik party.

The Alliance for Change’s presidential candidate is Guillermo Lasso, 61, a banker and reportedly the biggest taxpayer in Ecuador. Lasso entered first in politics in 1998 when he became governor of Guayas in the christian democratic administration of Jamil Mahuad. After a year in office, he was moved to the post of super-minister of Economy and Energy, but resigned a month later after Mahuad decided a debt default. He later served as ambassador-at-large in the Lucio Gutiérrez administration. In the 2013 elections, he successfully emerged as the leader of the right-wing opposition to Correa, succeeding in that position to Gutiérrez.

Lasso’s running mate is Andrés Páez, 50, who has served as congressman/assemblyman for Pichincha since 2003. In that position, he has been one of the leading voices of the opposition to Correa. Firstly elected as a candidate of the social-democratic ID, Páez is a member of CREO since 2013.

Lasso is running on a pro-business platform, with his key promise being the creation of one million jobs by boosting foreign investment through the creation of free trade zones and by fostering the entrepreneurial spirit through the cutting of red tape and the abolition of 14 taxes. He has also proposed to reduce the VAT rate from 14% to 12%. On constitutional matters, Lasso has expressed his desire to repeal the LOC and the Decree 16 and to organize consultas on indefinite reelection and on a proposal to make justice more independent from the executive branch. He has also pledged to privatize the state-owned TV channels and, if elected, to demand that Julian Assange left the Ecuadorian embassy in London within 30 days.
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 03:41:41 PM »

The Social Christian Party (Partido Social Cristiano, PSC)


Currently the second largest opposition party, the PSC was established in 1951 as a christian democrat and corporatist party whose base of support was to be found in the Sierra’s large landowners. In 1956, its leader and founder, Camilo Ponce Enríquez, was elected president of Ecuador. In the early 1980s, the PSC displaced the Ecuadorian Conservative Party as the main right-wing party in Ecuador and seen its base of support moving from the Sierra to the Costa, thus becoming the political arm of the coastal oligarchy.

After the victory of its candidate, León Febres Cordero, in the presidential election of 1984, the PSC tried, without much success, to implement a neo-liberal agenda. The party then experienced a slow but gradual decline, with its presidential candidate being defeated in 1988, 1992, and 1996 (in the two latter years the candidate, Jaime Nebot, was defeated in the runoff). In 1998, the party renounced to field a presidential candidate and, four years later, the PSC presidential candidate finished a humiliating fifth, with Álvaro Noboa’s PRIAN replacing the PSC as the main right-wing party in Ecuador. In 2006, the PSC tried to relaunch itself by selecting Cynthia Viteri, a 40-year old woman born into a modest family (in staunch contrast with the old and male oligarchs who formed the bulk of the PSC leadership), as its presidential candidate. This strategy however failed as Viteri finished a distant fifth, and the PSC experienced an internal crisis with Nebot temporary leaving the party to launch its own outfit, the Madera de Guerrero Civic Movement.

In the 2007 election for the Constituent Assembly, the PSC finished fourth with 5 seats, behind the MPAIS, the PSP and the PRIAN. In 2009, the party decided to support the presidential candidacy of Lucio Gutiérrez despite the fact that it had plaid an important role in the removing from office of Gutiérrez in 2005; in the concomitant legislative elections, the PSC finished third with 11 seats behind the AP and the PSP. In the 2013 elections, the party chose to endorse Guillermo Lasso as its presidential candidate while it finished again third in the legislative elections, with 6 seats, this time behind the AP and CREO. So the main goal of the PSC is currently to regain its lost status of leading right-wing party in Ecuador.

In 2015, the PSC, under the leadership of Jaime Nebot, became a leading force in the formation of La Unidad, an opposition alliance bringing together the PSC, the SUMA, Juntos Podemos, Avanza, and Concertación. As previously mentioned, the coalition collapsed in September 2016, after Cynthia Viteri had defeated Carrasco in La Unidad’s presidential primary.

In this election, the PSC is allied to various conservative provincial parties, notably the Madera de Guerrero Civic Movement (Movimiento Cívico Madera de Guerrero, MG), a Guayas provincial party led by mayor of Guayaquil Jaime Nebot which advocated further autonomy for the provinces; the MACHETE movement led by Leonardo Viteri, a Manabí’s political boss and former mayor of Sucre (who ran in the 2013 legislative election as CREO’s candidate); and Time of Change (Tiempo de Cambio), a Tungurahua provincial party led by former mayor of Ambato Luis Fernando Torres (who was elected a provincial assemblyman in 2013 in alliance with CREO).

This year, the PSC presidential candidate is again the Guayaquil-born and 51-year-old Cynthia Viteri. A former TV journalist, she became a lawmaker in 1997 and achieved fame as the acting speaker of the Ecuadorian Congress during the impeachment process of President Gutiérrez. As previously mentioned, she was selected in 2006 as the PSC’s presidential candidate because she was then seen as a fresh face in Ecuadorian politics; quite ironically, Viteri was, until her recent resignation, one of the longest-serving lawmaker in Ecuador, having seat in every legislature from 1997 to 2016 with a three-year interruption between 2006 and 2009.

Viteri’s running mate is Mauricio Pozo, 58, a banker from Quito who served as economy and finance minister under Gutiérrez in 2003-2004.

Running on a platform which is more populist (some would say demagogic) than CREO’s one, Viteri has promised to lower taxes, to create 800,000 new jobs, to raise salaries “in a responsible way” (unlike Lasso who will, according to the PSC, lower the minimum wage) and to set up a national subsidy to help poorest households to pay their electricity bills. The PSC candidate has also proposed to repeal the LOC, to abolish the CPCCS, and to increase the penalties for drug trafficking, homicide, and rape. Finally, Viteri has pledged that, if elected, Ecuador will withdraw from the ALBA and that the Manta mega-refinery project will be abandoned.
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2017, 03:42:12 PM »

The National Agreement for Change (Acuerdo Nacional por el Cambio)

The National Agreement for Change is a political alliance grouping together various left-wing and far left parties. Also supported by several trade unions (like the FUT) and the CONAIE, it opposes the policies followed by Correa and aims at providing a left-wing alternative to the AP.

The main parties – which only formed a coalition for the presidential election (they are running one against another in the legislative elections) – forming the National Agreement for Change are:


Democratic Left (Izquierda Democrática, ID)


A social-democratic party, the ID was founded in the 1970s by dissidents of the Ecuadorian Radical Liberal Party, who were quickly rejoined by former members of the Socialist Party. In early 1980s, the ID established itself as the main left-wing party in Ecuador, holding the presidency of the country between 1988 and 1992. Due to their pretty bad experience in office and to the emergence of new political parties like PK on the left, the ID saw its support gradually declined.

The electoral decline of the party accelerated in the mid-2000s when a good chunk of its members decided to join the newly founded MPAIS. In the 2007 election for the Constituent Assembly, the ID only won three seats; two years later, it only won two seats in the election of the National Assembly. At the end of the 2000s, what remained of the ID split over supporting or opposing Correa with two factions claiming the leadership of the party. As a consequence of its internal squabbles, the ID lost its electoral registration in 2013; by that time, the right-wing faction had decamped to CREO while most of the members of the pro-Correa wing had joined the newly created Avanza. In August 2016, the ID was re-registered with the CNE as a social-democratic opposition party under the leadership of Paco Moncayo.


Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement (Movimiento de Unidad Plurinacional Pachakutik, MUPP, or PK)


PK was established in 1995 as the political arm of the CONAIE, in the wake of the indigenous uprisings of the early 1990s. The party played an active role in the downfall of presidents Abdalá Bucaram (1997) and Jamil Mahuad (2000). In the 2002 presidential election, PK choose to endorse the candidacy of Lucio Gutiérrez; after the latter was elected president, PK entered the Gutiérrez administration. Nevertheless, as Gutiérrez dramatically moved to the right, PK feel betrayed by the president and quickly joined the ranks of the opposition.

The ill-fated alliance with Gutiérrez led to a deep crisis in PK with the ethnicist faction – opposed to any alliance with non-indigenous political parties – taking control of the party amidst massive defections. After disastrous electoral performances in 2006, 2007, and 2009 – when PK ran alone – the party changed its strategy and chose to form alliance with the anti-Correa left parties and social movements, leading to the creation in 2011 of the Plurinational Unity of the Lefts (an opposition alliance formed with the MPD), and the establishment in 2015 of the National Agreement for Change.

PK advocates an indigenous and leftist agenda that notably includes an extensive agrarian reform, the promotion of indigenous languages, the constitutional recognition of the plurinational nature of the Ecuadorian State, the struggle against ethnic discrimination, the defense of indigenous land rights, the access to water for small-farmers, and the creation of an indigenous justice system (i.e. recognition of traditional indigenous courts to judge members of the indigenous communities).

The party is also a strong proponent of the indigenous concept of Sumak kawsay (humans living in harmony and communion with nature). As such, PK could be described as an environmentalist party as it opposes mega-mining and oil extraction in the indigenous-populated areas. However, PK has a quite particular vision of ecology, generally only blaming the White/Mestizos for the pollution and disregarding the environmental impact made by growing indigenous communities in Amazon and by indigenous small-scale miners who use dangerous chemicals to extract minerals.

All over the course of its history, PK has been plagued by internal divisions: some in the party are still opposed to alliance with the White/Mestizo parties; others are supporters of an alliance with the right-wing parties. As previously mentioned, the PK Chimborazo provincial party supports the presidential candidacy of Lenín Moreno while the PK Guayas provincial party has decided to endorse Guillermo Lasso.


Popular Unity (Unidad Popular, UP)


The UP is the successor party of the Democratic People's Movement (Movimiento Popular Democrático, MPD), which was deregistered in 2014 due to poor electoral results. The MPD was itself founded in 1978 as the electoral wing of the hoxhaist Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador. Since its creation, the party has enjoyed close ties with the UNE and the Federation of University Students of Ecuador (FEUE). Far from being sectarian, the MPD had, at times, traded its electoral support in exchange of maintaining the unions’ privileges (notably in the recruiting process of teachers).

In the 1980s and the 1990s, the MPD achieved some electoral success under the guidance of its charismatic leader, Jaime Hurtado, the first ever Afro-Ecuadorian to run for president, and, ultimately displaced the Socialist Party as the main Marxist party in Ecuador. Shockingly, Hurtado was murdered in 1999, possibly by far right Colombian paramilitaries. In 2002, the MPD made the mistake to endorse the presidential candidacy of Gutiérrez; few months later, the party was forced to withdraw its support to the new president over the latter’s shift to the right. Nevertheless, in November 2004, in a bizarre development, the MPD reentered in coalition with Gutiérrez until the fall of the latter in April 2015.

After its candidate received a poor 1.33% in the 2006 presidential election, the MPD supported the Correa administration for some times, until the latter passed legislation to undermine the patronage of the UNE in the recruitment of teachers. In 2013, the party, which by now stood firmly against Correa, lost its parliamentary representation. The MPD however managed to keep the prefecture of Esmeraldas (a province with an Afro-Ecuadorian majority) in the 23F local elections.

The main face of the UP is Lenín Hurtado, the son of Jaime Hurtado, who is the party’s lead candidate in the election of national assemblymen.

Among the other parties forming part of the National Agreement for Change are the PSE’s Cañar provincial party; the Equality Movement (Movimiento Igualdad), an Azuay provincial party led by Marcelo Cabrera, the mayor of Cuenca; the Democratic Integration of Carchi Movement (Movimiento Integración Democrática del Carchi) whose leader, Guillermo Herrera, currently holds the post of prefect of Carchi; the Civic Movement for Ambato and Tungurahua (Movimiento Cívico por Ambato y Tungurahua), a Tungurahua provincial party; the Vive Movement, a Pichincha center-left provincial party which supported Rodas’s candidacy for mayor of Quito in 2014; Alberto Acosta’s Montecristi Lives (Montecristi Vive).

After a confused primary process, Paco Moncayo, 76, was selected as the alliance’s presidential candidate. A general in the Ecuadorian army and a hero of the Cenepa War against Peru, he played a key role, as head of the armed forces, in the bloodless removal from office of President Abdalá Bucaram (1997). After retirement, Moncayo jumped into electoral politics in 1998, being firstly elected deputy in the National Congress for the ID. Between 2000 and 2009, he served as mayor of Quito; in that post, he notably helped (with Jaime Nebot and the CONAIE) staging the protests which led to the dismissal of President Lucio Gutiérrez. In 2009, he was elected provincial assemblyman for Pichincha under the banner of the Municipalist Movement for National Integrity (MMIN), a party he had helped founded with the support of numerous mayors. The MMIN however quickly disintegrated and Moncayo unsuccessfully seek election in 2013 as national assemblyman as the candidate of Rupture 25.

Moncayo promised at first to select as his running mate a woman from Manabí Province, but, instead, choose Montserrat Bustamante, 40, a woman from Guayas Province with no political experience who has served as director of institutional planning and development at the Ecotech University.

On the economic front, Moncayo is running on a surprisingly moderate platform, proposing notably to lower taxes and to keep good relations with Chinese investors. Possibly explaining this shift to the right is the fact that Alberto Acosta, running in 2013 on the left of the AP, failed to breakthrough. Moncayo has also pledged to restore the 40% government mandatory contribution to the financing of the IESS and to abolish the CPCCS. On environmental issues, he is campaigning on promises to suspend oil extraction in the Yasuní National Park, to stop the building of the Manta mega-refinery, and to limit the mining operations in the country. Finally, he said that, if elected, he will legalize abortion in case of rape and same-sex marriage.
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2017, 03:43:03 PM »

January 21 Patriotic Society Party (Partido Sociedad Patriótica 21 de Enero, PSP)


A populist party, the PSP was created in 2002 as the political vehicle of Lucio Gutiérrez, the leader of the coup that ousted President Jamil Mahuad on January 21, 2000. Running on a very left-wing platform, Gutiérrez was elected president of Ecuador in 2002 with the support of PK and the MPD. However, once in office, he quickly moved to the right, implementing a fairly pro-US, pro-free trade, and pro-business program. This forced him to drop the alliance with PK and the MPD and to seek the support of the PSC. Having lost the support of the latter party by 2004, Gutiérrez was forced out of office in 2005 by massive protests staged by the PSC, the ID, and PK.

To the surprise of many, Lucio’s brother, Gilmar Gutiérrez, running as the PSP candidate, finished a strong third in the 2006 presidential election; in the concomitant legislative elections, the PSP became the second largest party in the National Congress. The resilience of the PSP can be explained by the fact that in office Gutiérrez had used the oil windfall to build strong clientelistic networks. In the 2007 election for the Constituent Assembly, the PSP displaced the PRIAN as the largest opposition party, winning 18 seats. In the 2009 general elections, Lucio Gutiérrez, running again for president, finished second behind Correa with 28.2%, while the PSP, winning 19 seats, kept its position of largest opposition party in the National Assembly.

In the 2013 general elections, the PSP was however hurt by the emergence of CREO, a more palatable party for conservative-leaning voters: Gutiérrez finished a distant third in the presidential race while, in the elections for the National Assembly, the PSP won only 5 seats, finishing fourth.

Things then got worse for the PSP as the party was weakened by various scandals in 2013. That year, it was revealed that party had used its state-allocated campaign funds to pay questionable expenses, including notably a vagina reconstruction surgery. Also in 2013, Galo Lara, a former PSP assemblyman, was convicted of manslaughter and fled to Panama to escape justice. The results of the 2014 local elections were horrendous for the PSP, which lost the prefecture of the Napo Province, Gutiérrez’s home province, to the AP candidate (himself a former PSP member).

Unlike the precedent elections, the PSP presidential candidate is no longer Lucio Gutiérrez (who seems to have abandon any hope to become once again president and is running instead as the PSP lead candidate in the election of national assemblymen) nor his brother. The party’s candidate is Patricio Zuquilanda, 69, a low-key career diplomat who served as foreign minister (2003-2005) in the Gutiérrez administration.

Zuquilanda’s running mate is Johnnie Jorgge Álava, 62, an agronomist from Guayaquil who served as national coordinator of a peasant movement. Jorgge Álava previously ran for Andean Parliament in 2013 as a candidate for Avanza.

Among the proposals made by Zuquilanda are the signature of a free trade treaty with the US, the establishment of an upper house in Parliament, and the end of oil extraction in the Yasuní National Park. Running on a law-and-order platform, the PSP candidate has also promised to step up the fight against drugs and to soften the gun legislation to, according to him, permit Ecuadorian civilians to defend themselves against criminals. Zuquilanda also wants to bring Julian Assange to Swedish justice.

Ecuador Force (Fuerza Ecuador, FE)


FE (an acronym that also means “faith” in Spanish) is the new name under which was re-registered the Ecuadorian Roldosist Party (PRE), which had lost its registration in 2014 due to poor electoral performance. The PRE was founded in 1983 as the personal vehicle of Abdalá Bucaram, a cartoonish populist who successively nicknamed himself the “Batman” (he once came to a political meeting dressed in a Batman suit), “the Cry of Agony of Populism”, and “the Madman”.

After a rocky period as mayor of Guayaquil, Bucaram unsuccessfully ran for president in 1988 and 1992 before being elected president in 1996. His short term in office was marked by the implementation of a Domingo Cavallo-inspired austerity plan, an orgy of corruption, and by Bucaram’s crazy antics (he notably released an unlistenable music album and gave a public reception in honor of infamous penectomist Loreno Bobbitt). After having alienated absolutely everybody in Ecuador, he was removed from office for “physical and mental incompetence” by the Congress after only six months in office; the ousted president then fled to Panama (where he is still living) to escape justice.

The PRE initially supported Correa, with the secret hope it would permit Bucaram to return to Ecuador without being immediately thrown in jail for corruption. As this hope failed to materialize, the PRE entered in opposition to the president of Ecuador. Still, in 2014, the party choose to endorse the AP candidate for mayor of Guayaquil over Jaime Nebot because the latter was, allegedly, part of the vast oligarchic conspiracy against Bucaram. By June 2015, however, FE had gone into full opposition mode, calling its supporters to join the Nebot-sponsored anti-government protests.

FE’s presidential candidate is no less than Bucaram’s son, Abdalá “Dalo” Bucaram Pulley, 34, a former soccer player whose greatest “feat” was his controversial non-selection in the national team and the subsequent shooting of the Ecuadorian national coach. Despite his young age, Dalo Bucaram has now a long political career, having served as president of the PRE in the 2000s and as national assemblyman from 2009 to 2014.

Bucaram’s running mate is Ramiro Aguilar, 48. A jurist, Aguilar was elected the only SUMA national assemblyman in 2013, and quickly became one of the most vocal opponent to the Correa administration in the National Assembly. In 2014, he left the SUMA to protest over the party’s adoption of a more conciliatory stance toward the president of Ecuador. Aguilar then sat as an independent in the National Assembly until he resigned his seat in 2016.

The FE’s ideology is a mix of social conservatism (homophobia, strong anti-drug stance), rants against the “oligarchy”, and economic populism. Among other things, Dalo Bucaram advocates an increase in the BDH from $50 to $100 and the building of ten of thousands of housing units (a promise already made by the PRE in the 1990s). Dalo Bucaram also proposes to decrease the VAT rate from 14% to 10%, to pardon “political prisoners” (including, presumably, his own father), and to end the “criminalization” of social movements.

Ecuadorian Union Movement (Movimiento Unión Ecuatoriana, MUE)


The MUE is a nominally center-left political movement (located “at equidistance from far right and far left”) founded in 2012 and whose stated objective is to propose a “third way” between the conservative opposition (labeled as the “old partidocracia”) and the ruling AP (the “new partidocracia”).

For all purposes, the party is actually the personal vehicle of its founders and presidential candidate, Washington Pesántez, 60. Pesántez is a controversial political figure who was a personal friend of Correa and served as attorney general in the latter’s administration from 2007 to 2011. In that post, he was accused of having used his position to launch investigations against opposition members and to protect Correa and his allies from investigation. Pesántez also reportedly prevented his own wife from being charged for having killed a woman while driving a car belonging to the attorney general’s office.

The MUE candidate for vice president is Álex Alcívar, 45, an engineer from Manabí Province who worked as undersecretary for Agriculture in the Correa government and is a former manager of the National Development Bank.

Pesántez’s platform includes an efficient fight against corruption, the building of an electric railway of approximately 2,200 kilometers, the improvement of the health system, the holding of a referendum on oil extraction in the Yasuní National Park, the abolition of the import tariffs introduced in 2014, and the enactment of a new constitution.

Social Commitment Force (Fuerza Compromiso Social, FCS)


The FCS is a recently created political party which is, according to its website, “neither left-wing nor right-wing”. From the little I have read about the FCS, it seems to be a “trash collector” party. For example, its lead candidate in the election for national assemblymen is Héctor Vanegas, a crazy populist who used to be Abdalá Bucaram’s lawyer and had run in recent years for candidate for the PRE, the PRIAN, and the PSP.

The FCS presidential candidate is its leader, Iván Espinel, 33, a former Guayas provincial director of the IESS and a relative of the Alvarado brothers.

Espinel’s running mate is Doris Quiroz Cárdenas, 53, a former hospital manager who served as deputy health minister under Alfredo Palacio for only 42 days.

Espinel is running on a law-and-order platform, advocating notably the reintroduction of death penalty (abolished in 1906) for pedophiles and murderers. He has also promised to create 203,000 jobs, to decrease the income tax rate by 2%, and to foster scientific research.
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 03:43:39 PM »

Other political parties and movements

These political parties don’t run their own presidential candidates but nonetheless are fielding candidates in the election of national assemblymen.


National Democratic Center (Centro Democrático Nacional, CDN)


The CDN is a center-right political party founded in 2012 under the name of Democratic Center (CD) by Jimmy Jairala as a Guayas provincial party. A former member of the PRE, Jairala had been elected prefect of Guayas in 2009 with the support of the PSC and Madera de Guerrero (defeating in the process Correa’s own sister); however, once in office, Jairala had switched sides and forged an alliance with the AP being re-elected prefect in 2014 as the candidate of the joint CD/AP coalition. That same year, the CD became part of the AP-led United Front. In January 2016, the CD registered with the CNE as a national party with the new name of CDN. In October 2016, Jairala once again betrayed his ally by endorsing the presidential candidacy of Paco Moncayo, leading to the expulsion of the CDN from the United Front.


Forward Ecuadorian Forward (Adelante Ecuatoriano Adelante, AEA)


This is the name under which was re-registered the Institutional Renewal Party of National Action (Partido Renovador Institucional Acción Nacional, PRIAN). The PRIAN was founded in 2002 as the personal vehicle of banana tycoon and former PRE presidential candidate (defeated in 1998 in a close runoff) Álvaro Noboa. One of the richest men if not the richest man in Ecuador, Noboa is a very despicable political figure: he was notably accused of having employed children in his banana plantations, having ordered the assassination of several trade unionists, having evade tax, and of having rape a model. In addition, he completely lacks of charisma and of political acumen and has used his vast wealth to buy votes under the cover of philanthropic action.

Despite massive vote-buying, Noboa was defeated in the presidential runoff in 2002 and 2006. In the 2006 legislative elections, however, the PRIAN emerged as the largest party in the National Congress only to fail to prevent President Correa from convening a Constituent Assembly. From there the party rapidly declined: in the 2007 election for the Constituent Assembly, the PRIAN finished third with 8 seats. In 2009, Noboa finished in a distant third with 11.4% while its party won only 7 seats, placing fourth behind the AP, the PSP, and the PSC. In the 2013 presidential, Noboa finished fifth with a poor 3.7% while the PRIAN in the concomitant legislative election lost its parliamentary representation leading to the deregistration of the party in 2014.

This year, Noboa has renounced to run for president but he has however a plan to become Ecuador's next president; indeed, he has announced that AEA will won an absolute majority in the National Assembly and will forced the president-elected to stand down in his favor.


Avanza


Avanza was founded in 2012 as a nominally social-democratic party by various politicians led by Ramiro González (ex-ID), a former prefect of Pichincha and head of the IESS. Actually, Avanza can be described as a “trash collector” party, having been joined by corrupt politicians from all over the political spectrum. From its foundation until 2015, Avanza was an ally of the AP with González holding the post of minister of industry and productivity in the Correa administration. The two parties fell apart over the decision of Correa of abolishing the 40% government mandatory contribution to the financing of the IESS. Avanza subsequently joined the La Unidad opposition alliance, only to found itself alone after the alliance collapsed in October 2016; as a result, the party hasn’t endorse a presidential candidate. González is Avanza’s lead candidate in the election for national assemblymen.


Concertación


Concertación is a centrist political party founded in 2007 by César Montúfar, a former director of Citizen Participation (Participación Ciudadana), an NGO whose main goal was to foster electoral participation. A vocal opponent to Correa, Montúfar was elected provincial assemblyman for Pichincha in 2009. Due to poor electoral results, Concertación lost its registration in 2012 only to be re-registered in 2014. In August 2016, the party joined La Unidad opposition alliance and, after the collapse of the latter, chose to continue to support the presidential candidacy of Cynthia Viteri.
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2017, 05:17:41 PM »

To my knowledge, no relevant Ecuadorian parties are advocating de-dollarization. While Correa was initially a critic of dollarization, he made no serious attempt to reverse the monetary policy while in office. Nevertheless, he was forced to deny any plan to de-dollarize the economy after a new digital currency was introduced in the country. Last month, Moreno has suggested the idea of devaluing the currency only to precise later that de-dollarization would be “foolish”.

Besides all the challenges of re-creating a national currency, Correa had renounced to de-dollarize the Ecuadorian economy mostly because dollarization remains very popular among Ecuadorians as it has permitted to end a period of currency and financial instability and helped decreasing inflation to single digit. It also put and end to the frequent currency manipulations for political purposes or for satisfying special interests; in that regard, it is worth remembering that the position of head of the Bank of Ecuador used to be a partisan office.
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2017, 06:06:24 PM »

Exit polls:

Cedatos
Lenín Moreno 39.4%
Guillermo Lasso 30.5%
Cynthia Viteri 15.5%
Paco Moncayo 6%
Dalo Bucaram 4.4%
Iván Espinel 2.6%
Patricio Zuquilanda 0.9%
Washington Pesántez 0.8%

=> runoff between Moreno and Lasso

Market
Lenín Moreno 36.2%
Guillermo Lasso 26.1%
Cynthia Viteri 23.1%
Paco Moncayo 6.5%
Dalo Bucaram 3.8%
Iván Espinel 2.8%
Patricio Zuquilanda 0.8%
Washington Pesántez 0.6%

=> runoff between Moreno and Lasso

Opinión Pública
Lenín Moreno 42.9%
Guillermo Lasso 27.7%
Cynthia Viteri 14.7%
Paco Moncayo 6.1%

=> Moreno elected in the first round; no runoff
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2017, 03:38:33 PM »

With 89% of the vote counted:

Lenín Moreno 39.11%
Guillermo Lasso 28.32%
Cynthia Viteri 16.29%
Paco Moncayo 6.78%
Dalo Bucaram 4.77%
Iván Espinel 3.19%
Patricio Zuquilanda 0.77%
Washington Pesántez 0.76%

Results of the election for national assemblymen (62.8% counted)

Alianza PAIS 38.52%
CREO/SUMA 21.66%
Social Christian Party 13.36%
Fuerza Ecuador 4.16%
Democratic Left 4.19%
January 21 Patriotic Society Party 3.41%
Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement 3.26%
Avanza 2.39%
Social Commitment Force 1.97%
Popular Unity 1.80%
Forward Ecuadorian Forward 1.32%
Concertación 1.12%
National Democratic Center 1.07%
Ecuadorian Socialist Party 0.93%
Ecuadorian Union 0.87%

Viteri and Zuquilanda have endorsed Lasso in the potential runoff. Meanwhile, Moncayo has declared he will vote neither for Moreno nor for Lasso.
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2017, 06:50:32 PM »

Cedatos poll:
Guillermo Lasso 52.1%
Lenín Moreno 47.9%

Meanwhile, it appears that the Alianza PAIS narrowly saved its majority in the National Assembly, winning between 72 and 75 seats out of 137.
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2017, 05:55:33 PM »

Cedatos is a long established polling company which has made numerous polls all along the electoral campaign and whose last poll before the first round predicted quite accurately the outcome (excluding the undecided, it was 39% for Moreno, 26% for Lasso, 17% for Viteri and 9% for Moncayo).

On the other side, CIS and Diagnostico are unknown to me. The two polls mentioned by Wikipedia are apparently the only polls made by these two companies during the 2017 election. Worth also mentioning that the Wikipedia link citing the CIS poll is from the Ecuadorian state-owned Andes news agency while the link citing Diagnostico is from the state-owned newspaper El Telégrafo.

Popular Unity has decided to openly endorse Guillermo Lasso in the runoff. For its part, Pachakutik has decided to “not support Moreno”, but, as showed by the map posted by Shilly the indigenous vote has already largely went to Lasso during the first round. Meanwhile, Jimmy Jairala, the leader of the National Democratic Center who endorsed Paco Moncayo in the first round, has indicated he will vote for Lenín Moreno after the AP candidate agreed to reform the LOC.
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2017, 05:14:22 PM »

Iván Espinel has endorsed Lenín Moreno in the runoff.

Dalo will endorse Guillermo Lasso if the latter promises to convene a constituent assembly.
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« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2017, 07:12:25 PM »

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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2017, 06:50:13 PM »

It took me several hours (can’t remember how many) to draw the borders of the urban parishes (the base map was made several months ago), to collect data from the CNE website (btw their antibot measures are really annoying) and to color the map. Thankfully, I have a lot of free time.



Poll from Perfiles de Opinión:

Lenín Moreno 51.02%
Guillermo Lasso 35.53%
Blank 7.24%
Null 6.21%

So counting only valid votes:

Lenín Moreno 58.95%
Guillermo Lasso 41.05%


Perfiles de Opinión is an established pollster which had however underestimated CREO support in the polls they published for the first round.
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2017, 04:55:38 PM »

Unfortunately, I’m afraid my knowledge of Ecuadorian electoral geography remains too limited to give an authoritative and comprehensive analysis of the results. I can (partly) explained who voted for which candidates but not why a candidate was voted for. Anyways, I can give a try, at least for the presidential election.

Galápagos

Let us start with the Galápagos islands which was Correa’s best province (64.2%) in 2013. This year, Lasso won the archipelago with 45%. Moreno placed second with 32.5% and Viteri placed third with 13.7% of the vote.

The main explanation of the AP collapse seems to be the wide unpopularity in the islands of the Special Regime Organic Law for Galápagos Province.

Costa

Like Correa in 2013, Moreno came first in every single province of the Costa region with 42.9% of the vote (down from 61.7% for Correa in 2013). Lasso won 22.1% of the vote, closely followed by Viteri (20.2%). Bucaram placed a distant fourth (7.6%).

Esmeraldas

In Esmeraldas province, Moreno won 40.6% (vs. 55.9% for Correa in 2013), against 28.1% for Lasso, and 16.8% for Viteri. The AP candidate’s best results were in the eastern part of the province, where the Afro-Ecuadorians constitute a majority of the population.

He also placed first in Telembí (40.4% vs. 40.2% for Lasso and a solid 13.9% for Moncayo) where most of the population (70.2%) is indigenous – the only parish in the whole Costa region with an indigenous majority.

Conversely, the western part of Esmeraldas province – where Mestizo/Whites constitute the majority of the population – was less supportive of Moreno. For example, in Rosa Zárate, the AP candidate placed second with 35.8% behind Lasso (38.2%); Viteri won there 13.7% of the vote.

Moreno also did poorly in the urban part of Esmeraldas canton, winning there only 31.9% of the vote, slightly ahead of Lasso (31.1%); Viteri placed third with 20.1%; Moncayo placed fourth with 7.9%.

Santo Domingo

In Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas province, which has been mostly colonized since the mid-20th century, Moreno won 40.8% of the vote (vs. 58% for Correa in 2013). Lasso won 29.9% and Viteri won 13.1%. For some reason, Lasso placed first in the southeastern part of the province.

Manabí

The strongest result for Moreno came from the province of Manabí where he triumphed by wide margin with 54% (vs. 62.8% for Correa in 2013). Lasso placed a very distant second with 18% against 10.3% for Viteri, and 7.6% for Bucaram. Manabí is the only province in which the AP candidate broke the 50% threshold.

Among the explanations of such a victory are the successful reduction of poverty under the Correa administration, the support of prefect Mariano Zambrano’s political machine, and the reconstruction efforts launched recently by the government.

For some reason, Moreno did very well in the major cities in the southwest part of the province: in the urban part of Manta canton, he notably won 60.9% against 15% for Lasso and 8.7% for Bucaram; in the urban part of Montecristí canton, he won 61.7% against a poor 9.9% for Lasso, 9.3% for Bucaram, and 7.7% for Viteri.

Moreno also swept some of the poorest parts of the province, notably the canton of Pedernales (where he won 60.2% against 21.3% for Lasso) – an area that was badly affected by the 2016 earthquake -, the canton of Pichincha (where he won 65.5% of the vote against 12.3% for Lasso, and 9.9% for Viteri), and the canton of Tosagua (58.7% vs. 16.7% for Lasso, and 11.2% for Viteri).

I have no idea why, but the AP candidate did poorly in the northeastern part of the province: in the canton of Chone he won only 44.7% against 21% for Lasso, and 19.5% for Viteri; in the canton of El Carmen, he received 38.2% of the vote against 35.6% for Lasso, and 14.4% for Viteri; in the canton of Flavio Alfaro, he only won 41.7% of the vote against 26% for Lasso, and 21.6% for Viteri. That part of the province was won by Viteri in 2006 and by Gutiérrez in 2009.

Los Ríos

In Los Ríos, an agricultural and relatively prosperous province, Moreno won 44.1% (vs. 61% for Correa in 2013). Viteri placed second with 20.9% and Lasso placed third with 19.9%. Bucaram placed fourth with 8.5%.

Moreno’s second worst results in the province were in the urban parishes of Babahoyo where he won only 32.9% against 28.7% for Viteri, 20.6% for Lasso, and 12.6% for Bucaram.

The AP candidate performed also a bit below provincial average in the urban parishes of Quevedo (43.9% vs. 22.3% for Viteri and 21% for Lasso).

Santa Elena

In the province of Santa Elena, once a stronghold of Álvaro Noboa, Moreno won 47.9% (vs. 64.1% for Correa in 2013). Lasso placed second with 28% and Viteri placed third with 9.8%. Like in 2013, Santa Elena was the second best province for the AP candidate.

Moreno’s best results came from the rural part of the province, winning only 42.6% (against 32.5% for Lasso, 11.6% for Viteri, and 7.2% for Bucaram) in the urban part of canton of Salinas, only 43.62% (against 31.6% for Lasso, and 10.2% for Viteri) in the urban parishes of the canton of Santa Elena, and 42.6% (against 27.4% for Lasso, 10.3% for Viteri, and 9.4% for Bucaram) in the urban parish of La Libertad.

Guayas

In Guayas province, Moreno won 38.8% of the vote (vs. 63.2% for Correa in 2013); Viteri placed second with 26.1%; Lasso won 21.1% of the vote and Bucaram 8.1%. Guayas was Moreno’s worst province in the Costa region.

In the urban part of Guayaquil, the AP candidate won only 35% of the vote against 28.9% for Viteri (who benefited from the political machine of Guayaquil’s mayor Jaime Nebot), 22.3% for Lasso, and 8% for Bucaram.

Generally speaking, Moreno did poorly in the central part of the city and topped the polls in the peripheral part of the city, winning notably 36.5%  against 31.1% for Viteri, 16.5% for Lasso, and 9.8% for Bucaram in Febres Cordero (a parish in which many rural migrants have settled); 37.2% against 28.4% for Viteri, 19.3% for Lasso, and 9.3% for Bucaram in Ximena, a parish where many Afro-Ecuadorian migrants from Esmeraldas have settled; 45.2% against 24.2% for Viteri, 15.7% for Lasso and 8.2% for Bucaram in Pascuales.

Lasso came ahead in the affluent suburbs of La Puntilla (76.4% vs. 11.7% for Viteri and only 8.2% for Moreno) – just look at satellite photos of this area on Google Maps to see how many tennis courts and individual swimming pools there are there – and La Aurora (41.6% vs. 24.9% for Viteri, and 23.7% for Moreno).

Conversely, Moreno topped the poll in the working-class suburbs located in the canton of Durán, winning there 43.2% against 23% for Viteri, 17.3% for Lasso, and 10.9% for Bucaram.

Moreno’s best results in the province of Guayas came from the rural parts of the canton of Naranjal, a banana-producing area: for example, in Taura, where the AP candidate won 64.9% of the vote against 18.1% for Lasso, and 7.6% for Viteri; or in Jesús María where Moreno won 62.6% of the vote against 15.5% for Lasso, and 10.3% for Viteri.

El Oro

In El Oro, Moreno won 41.8% of the vote (vs. 56.9% for Correa in 2013); Lasso placed second with 26.4% and Viteri placed third with 19.3%.

The AP candidate won his best results in the banana-producing area of El Guabo: 70% against 11.6% for Lasso and 9.3% for Viteri in Barbones; 66.8% against 13.2% for Lasso, and 10.8% for Viteri in Tendales; and 65% against 15.8% for Lasso, and 9.3% for Viteri in Río Bonito.

Conversely, the two right-wing candidates performed well in the southeast part of the province: in the canton of Atahualpa, Viteri won 39.6% against 32.8% for Moreno, and 21.2% for Lasso; in the canton of Zaruma, Viteri won 30.6% of the vote against 29.5% for Moreno, and 28.9% for Lasso; in Portovelo, Lasso won 34.1% of the vote against 29% for Moreno, and 27.4% for Viteri. This part of the country is remarkable for its relative prosperity and the presence of an important artisan mining activity. So for some reasons, the small-scale miners voted in that region for conservative candidates; back in 2002 and 2006, they had voted for León Roldós.

Sierra

Moreno narrowly won the Sierra region: 35.8% (vs. 53.2% for Correa in 2013) to 33.7% for Lasso, 12.3% for Viteri, and 11% for Moncayo.

Carchi

In the province of Carchi, an area where the Democratic Left used to be strong, Moreno won 38.8% of the vote (vs. 52.4% for Correa in 2013) against 25.5% for Lasso, 19.7% for Viteri, and 9.9% for Moncayo.

The AP candidate seems to have win the indigenous Awa vote: in Tobar Donoso (62.8% indigenous), he won 58.9% of the vote against 18.2% for Lasso; in El Chical (57.9% indigenous), he won 51.5% of the vote against 28.2% for Lasso.

Moreno’s best results came however from the Afro-Ecuadorian communities living in the Chota Valley: 76.8% against 9.8% for Lasso in Concepción (73% Afro-Ecuadorian); 71.3% against 10.25% for Lasso, and 7.9% for Viteri in San Vicente de Pusir (57% Afro-Ecuadorian).

Conversely, the AP candidate won its worst result in Tulcán, Carchi’s largest city and capital: he won in the urban parishes of that canton a poor 30.4% against 29.22% for Viteri, 27.7% for Lasso, and 7.6% for Moncayo.

Imbabura

In the province of Imbabura, Moreno won 43.1% (vs. 57% for Correa in 2013) against 25.7% for Lasso, 13.4% for Viteri, and 10.7% for Moncayo.

Like in Carchi, Moreno won his best result in the Afro-Ecuadorian communities in the Chota valley: 60% against 17.7% for Lasso, and 9.8% for Viteri in Ambuqui (54.4% Afro-Ecuadorian); 68.4% against 12.9% for Lasso, and 7% for Viteri in Salinas (57.9% Afro-Ecuadorian).

The AP candidate also won the Otavalo vote; the Otavalos are an indigenous community with a strong cultural identity which have achieved economic success and seen the emergence of an indigenous middle-class thanks to their handcraft activities.

Moreno won a mediocre result in Ibarra, the province’s capital and largest city: 37.7% of the vote vs. 28.6% for Lasso, 15.6% for Viteri, and 10.8% for Moncayo.
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2017, 04:58:56 PM »

Pichincha

In Pichincha, Moreno won 37.3% (vs. 58% for Correa in 2013) against 32.2% for Lasso, 12.5% for Viteri, and 10.9% for Moncayo.

The AP candidate won a relatively mediocre result in the urban parishes of Quito: 36.1% against 33% for Lasso, 13.1% for Viteri, and 10.8% for Moncayo. Broadly speaking, Moreno came first in the working-class areas in the southern part of the city – for  example in Guamaní where he won 41.9% of the vote against 23.6% for Lasso, 12.5% for Moncayo, and 11.7% for Viteri. Moreno’s best results in urban Quito came however from Comité del Pueblo, a popular parish in the northern part of the city, where he won 46.5% against 24.1% for Lasso, 12.3% for Viteri, and 9.3% for Moncayo.

For his part, Lasso topped the polls in the northern affluent part of the city, winning notably 51.9% (vs. 24% for Moreno, 12.2% for Viteri, and 8.3% for Moncayo) in Iñaquito and 55.9% (vs. 21.8% for Moreno, 11.7% for Viteri, and 7.8% for Moncayo) in Rumipamba.

The CREO candidate also won the upper/middle class suburbs of Conocoto (34.5% vs. 34.3% for Moreno, 13% for Viteri, and 12.4% for Moncayo), Cumbayá (53.4% vs. 25.2% for Moreno, 10.4% for Viteri, and 7.1% for Moncayo), Nayón (42.1% vs. 28% for Moreno, 12.8% for Moncayo, and 10.4% for Viteri), and San Rafael in the canton of Rumiñahui (50% vs. 25.3% for Moreno, 13% for Viteri, and 8% for Moncayo).

For some reasons, Lasso also won several rural cantons, notably the cantons of San Miguel de los Bancos (42% vs. 33.4% for Moreno, and 14.7% for Viteri) and Pedro Vicente Maldonado (40.7% vs. 38% for Moreno, and 9.8% for Viteri).

Moreno got his best results in the province in the eastern part of the canton of Quito, where most of agricultural workers are salaried employees (and not self-employed farmers or day laborers).

Cotopaxi

In Cotopaxi, Lasso won 32.6% against 30.6% for Moreno (vs. 46.3% for Correa in 2013), 19.5% for Moncayo, and 10.1% for Viteri.

Generally speaking, Lasso won the indigenous-populated areas, notably the Zumbahua parish (98.9% indigenous) where Correa had spent part of his youth; Lasso placed there first with 44% against 28.7% for Moreno, and 17.5% for Moncayo (who also did very well in the indigenous-populated areas); back in 2013, Correa won Zumbahua with 58.4% against 17.1% for Lasso, and 9.9% for Acosta.

Lasso also topped the polls in the urban parishes of Latacunga, the province’s largest city, where he received 34% of the vote against 26.6% for Moreno, 17.6% for Moncayo, and 14.5% for Viteri.

Like in 2013, the parish of Cochapamba (99.6% indigenous) was won by the candidate of the anti-Correa left: Moncayo received there 41.2% of the vote against 38.7% for Lasso, and 14% for Moreno.

Tungurahua

In the province of Tungurahua, Lasso won 37.8% against 28.7% for Moreno (vs. 44% for Correa in 2013), 13.9% for Viteri, and 11.1% for Moncayo.

Like in Cotopaxi, Lasso topped the polls in the indigenous-populated western part of the province: 47.8% (vs. 20.2% for Moncayo, and 16.6% for Moreno) in Pilagüín (91.3% indigenous); 36.6% (vs. 23% for Moreno, 22.4% for Moncayo, and 8.7% for Viteri) in San Fernando (66.8% indigenous); 34% (vs. 27.4% for Moreno, 16.8% for Moncayo, and 11.5% for Viteri) in Pasa (73.1% indigenous); 36.7% (vs. 25.2% for Moreno, 16.4% for Moncayo, and 9.2% for Viteri) in Quisapincha (70.9% indigenous).

Lasso’s best results were however in the White/Mestizo majority parts of the province. One of the explanation I found to Lasso’s success in Tungurahua is that the provincial economy is dominated by small family-owned businesses whose owners are at odd with the fiscal and economic policy followed by the Correa administration.

In the urban parishes of Ambato, the province’s largest city, Lasso won 38.7% against 28.9% for Moreno, 16.5% for Viteri, and 8.7% for Moncayo.

Also worth mentioning that Moncayo topped the polls in the parish of Salasaca, home to an indigenous community with a vibrant and strong ethnic identity, with 41.2% against 27.5% for Lasso, and 17.7% for Moreno.

Bolívar

Lasso also placed first in the remote and poor province of Bolívar – a province which suffered from massive emigration – with 44.2% (it was Lasso’s best provincial result in the whole Sierra region) against 25.1% for Moreno (vs. 33.7% for Correa in 2013), 14.5% for Viteri, and 8.9% for Moncayo.

The CREO candidate notably won the city of Guaranda (43.6% indigenous) with 48.7% against 20.8% for Moreno, 12.3% for Moncayo, and 12% for Viteri. In Simiátug, the parish with the largest indigenous population (94.1%) in Bolívar, Lasso won 39.9% of the vote against 30.1% for Moreno, and 17.8% for Moncayo.

Chimborazo

Lasso swept the province of Chimborazo, the province with the largest (38%) indigenous population in the whole Sierra province and an important evangelical indigenous community. The CREO candidate won 42.1% against 27.6% for Moreno (vs. 42% for Correa in 2013), 12.8% for Viteri, and 8.6% for Moncayo.

Lasso got his best results in the indigenous-majority areas like Palmira (98.2% indigenous) – where he won his best result in the province with 55.6% against 27.4% for Moreno, and 7.7% for Moncayo –, Columbe (98.6% indigenous) – where he won 52% against 27.8% for Moreno – and Cebadas (92.5% indigenous), where he won 52% against 27.3% for Moreno and 9.3% for Moncayo.

Lasso also placed first in the urban parishes of Riobamba, the province’s capital and largest city, where he won 41.7% against 24.6% for Moreno, 18.11% for Viteri, and 8.2% for Moncayo.

Pesántez topped the poll in the parish of Sevilla (38.5%), located in his native canton of Alausí.

Cañar

In the province of Cañar, Moreno won 34.7% of the vote (vs. 50.4% for Correa in 2013) against 29.3% for Lasso, 17.8% for Viteri, and 10.7% for Moreno.

The indigenous vote appears there to be split between Lasso, Moreno, and to a lesser extent Moncayo. For example, in General Morales (80.6% indigenous), Moreno won 37.6% of the vote against 28.6% for Moncayo, and 22.7% for Lasso; in the neighboring parish of Suscal (76.7% indigenous), Lasso won 35.7% of the vote against 32.1% for Moreno, 16.7% for Moncayo, and 10.8% for Viteri.

Lasso topped the polls in Azogues, the province’s capital and largest city, winning the vote in the urban part of the canton with 36% against 27.9% for Moreno, 21.9% for Viteri, and 8.5% for Moncayo.

Azuay

In the province of Azuay, a traditional left-wing stronghold, Moreno won only 43.9% (vs. 62.3% for Correa in 2013) of the vote, against 32.3% for Lasso, and 9.7% for Moncayo.

Moreno performed a bit below provincial average in the urban part of the canton of Cuenca, winning there only 39.6% against 36.2% for Lasso, 9.8% for Moncayo, and 7.6% for Viteri.

Conversely, he won some of his best national results in the northeastern corner of the province, notably in the canton of Sevilla de Oro (71.8% against 16.9% for Lasso) and the canton of El Pan (63.7% against 18.6% for Lasso, and 9.3% for Moncayo); I have no explanations for that noticeable results.

Still in Azuay, Lasso won the cantons of Girón (50.2% against 30.7% for Moreno, and 7.1% for Moncayo) and Santa Isabel (36.9% against 35.4% for Moreno, 12.3% for Moncayo, and 9.5% for Viteri), where is located the controversial Quimsacocha mining project. In the parish of San Salvador de Cañaribamba (Santa Isabel), where the local population showed its opposition to the Quimsacocha project by rejecting it through an unofficial consulta, Lasso placed first with 35.7% of the vote, closely followed by Moncayo with 35.4%; Moreno placed only third with 16.6%.

Moreno performed above provincial average in the canton of Camilo Ponce Enríquez, where an important industry mining is to be found: he placed there first with 48.2% against 31.5% for Lasso, and 8.5% for Viteri.

He also won the parish of Nabón, the only parish in Azuay where the indigenous constitute a majority (52.3%) of the population: 49.9% against 26.7% for Lasso, and 13.1% for Moncayo.

Loja

The province of Loja has a very complicate political scene with tons of local provincial parties. . Lasso won there 42% of the vote against 33% for Moreno (vs. 45.3% for Correa in 2013), 10.6% for Viteri, and 8.9% for Moncayo.

Moreno got his worst provincial results in the Saraguro-populated areas (the Saraguros are an indigenous ranching community with a strong cultural identity), notably in San Lucas (80.5% indigenous) where he won a poor 15.5% against 44.1% for Lasso, and 30.7% for Moncayo; in San Pablo de Tenta (52.5% indigenous) where he won only 19.4% against 40.2% for Moncayo, and 29.4% for Lasso; and finally in the parish of Saraguro (63.6% indigenous) where he won 24.3% against 38% for Lasso, and 25.9% for Moncayo.

Moreno performed below provincial average in Loja, the province’s capital and largest city, winning in the urban part of the canton only 27.5% against 47.7% for Lasso, 11.8% for Viteri, and 7.6% for Moncayo. I can’t tell you more about the rest of the province.
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2017, 05:02:36 PM »

Oriente

In the Oriente region, Lasso topped the polls with 43.4% of the vote; Moreno placed second with 31.9% (vs. 36.2% for Correa in 2013); Viteri placed third with 10.1%, and Moncayo placed fourth with 8.8%.

Sucumbíos

In the province of Sucumbíos, Moreno placed first with 39.5% of the vote (vs. 44.3% for Correa in 2013) against 27.2% for Lasso, 15.9% for Viteri, and 8.3% for Moncayo.

The province has the lowest share of indigenous population (13.4%) in the whole Oriente region. Additionally, the cultural identity of the local indigenous communities (Cofán, Siona, Secoya) has been severely weakened by influx of settlers from the highlands, oil drilling (with a dire environmental impact), and presence of evangelical missions (who by their work placed the indigenous communities in a state of economic dependence).

Moreno performed slightly below provincial average in Nueva Loja, the province’s capital, winning there 38.8% against 27.7% for Lasso, 17.6% for Viteri, and 7.7% for Moncayo. He won his second best provincial result in Puerto Rodríguez (68.9% indigenous), where he received 72.3% of the vote against 9.2% for Zuquilanda, and 8.4% for Lasso.

Napo

Lasso triumphed in the province of Napo, where he won 55.8% (his best provincial result) of the vote against a poor 24.9% for Moreno (vs. 25.4% for Correa in 2011).

There is there a clear divide between the south of the province, where Lasso captured the vote of the indigenous Napo-Kichwa community (who previously voted for the Gutiérrez brothers), and the north of the province, mostly inhabited by White/Mestizos settlers, where Moreno placed first.

For example, Lasso’s best results were in San Pablo de Ushpayacu (98.2% indigenous; the parish with the highest share of indigenous population in the whole province) where he won 64.5% of the vote against 18.9% for Moreno, and 8.9% for Moncayo; in Cotundo (89.6% indigenous) where he won 64.1% of the vote against 19.33% for Moreno, and 7% for Moncayo; and Pano (90.6% indigenous) where he won 63.9% of the vote against 16.7% for Moreno, and 7.5% for Moncayo.

Conversely, Moreno won his best national result in the parish of Oyacachi (92.6% indigenous, but the indigenous population there belongs to the Cayambe [Kichwa de la Sierra] ethnic group), where he won 88.6% of the vote. His other best provincial results are to be found in Linares (91.9% mestizo) where he won 70.1% of the vote against 19.6% for Lasso; in Gonzalo Díaz de Pineda (90.1% mestizo) where he won 52.2% of the vote against 27.4% for Lasso, and 9% for Moncayo; and in Papallacta (76.2% mestizo) where he won 51.2% of the vote against 28.4% for Lasso, and 8% for Viteri.

Orellana

In the province of Orellana, Lasso won 37.8% of the vote compared to 36% for Moreno (vs. 38.9% for Correa in 2013), 12% for Moncayo, and 8.3% for Viteri.

Moreno won here his best results in his native canton of Aguarico: he placed first in his birthplace, Nuevo Rocafuerte (64.6% indigenous) with 71.4% of the vote against 21.6% for Lasso; he also topped the poll in the neighboring parish of Yasuní (79% indigenous), winning there 72.3% of the vote against 21.2% for Lasso.

However, in that same canton of Aguarico, he did poorly in the parish of Cononaco (the only Ecuadorian parish with a Waorani [an indigenous ethnic group that was contacted only in the 1950s] majority) receiving there its second worst result in the province with 21.8% against 72.4% for Lasso. In brief, Lasso won the Waorani vote while the Napo-Kichwa and mestizo votes were evenly split between the CREO candidate and Moreno.

Pastaza

In the province of Pastaza, Lasso placed first with 47.8% of the vote against 26.4% for Moreno, 11.4% for Viteri, and 9.5% for Moncayo. Broadly speaking, Lasso won both the Canelos-Kichwa and the Shuar (a Jivaroan warlike ethnic group with a very strong cultural identity) votes, but also the white/mestizo vote.

For example, in Simón Bolívar (58.6% Shuar), Lasso won 63.9% of the vote against 18.5% for Moreno, and 9.9% for Moncayo; in Canelos (62% Kichwa), the CREO candidate topped the polls with 46.4% of the vote against 34.7% for Moreno, and 7.5% for Moncayo. In Puyo, the province’s capital (78.9% mestizo), Lasso won 46.8% of the vote against 24.9% for Moreno, 15.3% for Viteri, and 7.6% for Moncayo; in the parish of Mera (75.3% mestizo), the CREO candidate won 46.9% of the vote against 29% for Moreno, and 13.3% for Viteri.

Conversely, Moreno did very well in Río Corrientes (98.7% Achuar – another Jivaroan ethnic group), which overwhelmingly voted for Martha Roldós in 2009 and Acosta in 2013 and where he received 58.8% of the vote against 27.5% for Lasso; and in Río Tigre (41.2% Kichwa, 18.4% Zapara, 16.5% Shiwiar, 9% Achuar, 7.5% Andoa) where he won 42.4% of the vote against 35.4% for Lasso, and 15.4% for Moncayo.

The election was very disputed in the parish of Montalvo/Andoas (31.7% Achuar, 19.4% Kichwa, 19% Andoa, and 14.9% Shiwiar) where Lasso placed first with 31.5% of the vote against 30.3% for Moncayo, and 29.6% for Moreno.

Moncayo came first in the parish of Sarayacu (82% Kichwa, 12.6% Achuar), where he won 44.4% of the vote against 25.7% for Moreno, and 24.9% for Lasso; the local indigenous population of Sarayacu has successfully sued the Ecuadorian government before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for having permitted oil drilling in the parish without asking the permission of its inhabitants.

Morona Santiago

In the province of Morona Santiago, Lasso won 53.8% of the vote against 29% for Moreno (vs. 33.5% for Correa in 2013), and 7.9% for Moncayo. The conservative candidate performed very well in the Shuar-inhabited areas, winning there his best national results: in Shimpis (93.6% Shuar), he won 80% against 11% for Moreno; in Tutinentza (89.6% Shuar), he triumphed with 78% against 12.3% for Moncayo, and a pitiful 6.5% for Moreno; in Macuma (95.7% Shuar), Lasso won 77.6% of the vote against 13.5% for Moncayo, and 5.6% for Moreno.

Conversely, Moreno won the parish of Huasaga (93.1% Achuar), the only parish in Morona Santiago with an Achuar majority; the AP candidate won there 49.2% of the vote against 32.4% for Lasso, and 16.9% for Moncayo. The parish was overwhelmingly won by Roldós in 2009 and Acosta in 2013.

Lasso performed below provincial average in Macas (78.6% mestizo), the province’s capital, winning there 44.3% of the vote against 35.7% for Moreno, 9% for Viteri, and 7.2% for Moncayo.

Zamora Chinchipe

Finally, in the province of Zamora Chinchipe, Lasso placed first with 46.4% of the vote against 29.7% for Moreno, 11.8% for Viteri, and 8.9% for Moncayo.

The conservative candidate came first in almost all parishes, winning notably the Saraguro-majority parishes of 28 de Mayo (where he won 38.3% of the vote against 28.7% for Moncayo, and 23.9% for Moreno) and La Paz (49.6% against 24.9% for Moreno, and 18.3% for Moncayo). Moncayo won Tutupali, the third remaining Saraguro-majority parish in Zamora Chinchipe, where he won 38.6% of the vote against 30.8% for Moreno, and 26.2% for Lasso.

Moncayo also won the parish of Nuevo Paraiso (54.2% Shuar), the only Shuar-majority parish in Zamora Chinchipe, where he won 39.3% against 33.7% for Lasso, and 20.2% for Moreno.

Lasso performed a bit above provincial average in Zamora (91.2% mestizo), the province’s capital, winning there 46.7% of the vote against 26.4% for Moreno, and 17.7% for Viteri.
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Sir John Johns
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2017, 11:55:41 AM »

New Cedatos poll:

Guillermo Lasso 50.8%
Lenín Moreno 49.2%

18.2% of the voters are still undecided.
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Sir John Johns
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« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2017, 03:31:28 PM »

BDH beneficiaries and Moreno voting in Manabí


Latest polls:

Cedatos
Lenín Moreno 52.4%
Guillermo Lasso 47.6%

Perfiles de Opinión

Lenín Moreno 57.6%
Guillermo Lasso 42.4%

Market

Lenín Moreno 52.1%

Guillermo Lasso 47.9%

Thank you, that was fascinating.

To what extent do you think the Correa government's various 'asistencialista' benefits to the poor can explain the results in the poorest region, like the non-urban parts of the Costa? Studies have shown correlations between beneficiaries of social benefits and pro-government voting in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia (and probably elsewhere) so I imagine it would be true in Ecuador as well.

It’s pretty hard to answer this question as I couldn’t find studies on the subject and as data on the geographical distribution of beneficiaries of social programs in Ecuador is patchy. Nevertheless, I have somehow find data on the number of beneficiaries of the Bono de Desarrollo Humano (BDH) on provincial and cantonal levels for the year 2014 on this broken website. Unfortunately, the numbers provided by this website are contradicted by other sources.

The BDH is a minimal income for poorest households which was introduced in 1998 by President Mahuad to alleviate the effects of his "neoliberal" policies on poor mothers. The scale of the BDH was extended under Gutiérrez and its amount was later significantly raised by Correa from $15 to $50 per month. In most recent years, the government has tried, apparently with success, to reduce the number of BDH beneficiaries, to concentrate efforts on the poorest Ecuadorians.

Here is the full list of provinces by share of population benefiting from the BDH in 2014 (green = provinces won by Moreno; blue = provinces won by Lasso):

Bolívar 21.4%
Manabí 17.2%
Cotopaxi 16.9%
Los Ríos 16.7%
Chimborazo 16.4%
Loja 16.0%
Zamora Chinchipe 15.4%
Santa Elena 14.8%
Cañar 14.5%
Napo 14.4%
Orellana 14.0%
Santo Domingo 14.0%
Morona Santiago 13.9%
Carchi 13.9%
Sucumbíos 13.9%
Esmeraldas 13.5%
Imbabura 13.0%
Tungurahua 12.4%
Azuay 11.3%
El Oro 10.9%
Pastaza 10.8%
Guayas 10.7%
Pichincha 4.2%
Galápagos 2.4%

As you can see, there seems to be a weak correlation between the number of BDH beneficiaries and the Moreno voting. As I previously mentioned, these numbers are however contradicted by those mentioned by this  article, which indicates that the three provinces with the highest rate of BDH beneficiaries are Manabí (26.8%), Guayas (16.2%), and Orellana (12.5%). Unfortunately, the article doesn’t provide a source nor gives the numbers for the other provinces.

Still using the data from 2014, I have made maps to compare the share of population benefiting from the BDH in three provinces (Manabí, Chimborazo, Morona Santiago) and the Moreno voting on the cantonal level.







Like above, there seems to be no obvious correlation between beneficiaries of the BDH and voting for Moreno. I’m unable to provide satisfactory explanations to such a fact (maybe the fact that the program was started by Correa’s predecessors).

In relation to this, I found on this thesis an interesting chart showing evolution of poverty rate by province between 2006 and 2014.



Judging by these numbers, Moreno’s bad results in the central Sierra and Oriente can be partly attributed to the government’s inefficiency to effectively tackle poverty in these areas.

Hope this has helped a bit.
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