How Ecuadors Democracy Is Being Suffocated

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2212 ... October 9, 2020
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How Ecuador’s Democracy Is Being Suffocated

Vijay Prashad and Pilar Troya

A recent poll showed that if Andrés Arauz Galarza were allowed to run in Ecuador’s presidential election of 2021, he would win in the first round with 45.9 per cent of the vote. The pollsters found that Arauz -- who was the minister of knowledge and human talent from 2015 to 2017 -- wins across "all the social strata and regions of the country, with a slight weakness among the richest voters in the country."

Andrés Arauz entered policymaking and government when Rafael Correa was the president of the country, from 2007 to 2017. A stint at the Central Bank led to a career in the planning department (SENPLADES), before Arauz became a minister in the last two turbulent years of Correa’s government. There was not a whiff of corruption or incompetence around Arauz in his decade of service; when Correa left office, Arauz went to Mexico to pursue a PhD at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Far behind Arauz... in the polls is Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, the candidate of the right. Lasso, who is a wealthy banker, had run against the current President Lenín Moreno in 2017 but lost. He is the consensus candidate of the right wing, which cannot seem to advance his standing in the polls. He sits frozen at 32 per cent.

Those polled said that Arauz was by far the most attractive candidate. But, if the ruling bloc in Ecuador has its way, Arauz will not be sworn in as the next president of the country next year. They will use every means to suffocate democracy in their country.

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