Sunday, October 15, 2006

So what's up in Ecuador?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Funny you should ask. As you may know, we at The Reaction devote some of our blogging to international election coverage, and -- wouldn't you know it? -- Ecuador held a presidential election today. Voting was mandatory, for such is the law, and there were 13 candidates running for the top job.

According to exit polls, as reported by the BBC, Ecuador's wealthiest man, Alvaro Noboa (a banana tycoon, no less), and a leftist economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Rafael Correa (a friend of Hugo Chavez, no less), finished 1-2 (yet both with under 28% of the vote).

The run-off election between Noboa and Correa will be held on November 26.

(Like France, Ecuador uses this two-round system for presidential elections. It uses a List-Proportional Representation system for parliamentary elections -- also held today.)


The winner of the last presidential election, held in 2002, was Lucio GutiƩrrez (Noboa finished second). Amid crisis and public protests, he was removed from office in April 2005 by the National Congress and replaced by Vice President Alfredo Palacio, soon to be the country's outgoing president (he did not run in today's election). Interesting stuff, not least because GutiƩrrez just won't go away.

For more, see here. I didn't know that "[i]n the last 10 years, three presidents have been forced to resign by a combination of mass demonstrations and political manoeuvring in parliament". Indeed, one of those presidents, Abdala Bucaram, was known as "El Loco" and declared "mentally incapacitated" by Congress. This analysis from the BBC also suggests that Correa could face a united opposition in the run-off election.

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  • All I need to know is which one is the leftist. Now I'm rooting for Correa like he plays for the Cardinals.

    By Blogger ., at 1:27 AM  

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