ECUADOR
Officially: República de Ecuador.
Seat of government: Quito.
Status: Not democratic.
Structure: Dominant-party state. In theory, the president is elected directly, while the legislature (Asamblea Nacional) is elected in the provinces and by party-list proportional representation.
Head of government: Rafael Correa, president (since 2007).
Governing party: Alianza País.
Recent history: Elected president Jamil Mahuad (1998-2000) was deposed by the military, dissatisfied aboriginals, and the vice president, Gustavo Noboa, who then replaced him (2000-3). An election for a permanent president was held in 2002, but was unfortunately won by one of the leaders of the coup, Lucio Gutiérrez (2003-5). Gutiérrez himself was then deposed by the legislature of the time, the Congreso, replaced by vice president Alfredo Palacio (2005-7). During his time in office, Gutiérrez made Ecuador more autocratic, most recently by removing the membership of the supreme court. An election for a permanent replacement was held in 2006; Álvaro Noboa and Rafael Correa finished first and second, but Correa won the runoff. Correa (2007-) presented himself as a moderate ally of Hugo Chávez, but his behavior in office has been more Chavista than moderate. A referendum was forced through in 2007 for a constitutional assembly, which was officially approved. Congressional opponents were dismissed; the supreme court judges who ordered them reinstated were removed by the pro-Correa majority; and two dozen legislators were charged with treason. Alianza País claimed victory in the vote for the assembly, which abolished the Congreso altogether and established itself as the new legislature (the current Asamblea Nacional). A referendum for the new constitution was also successful, leading to still more power for Correa. He officially won an early re-election in 2009, and a third term in 2013. A 2017 vote to replace him led to a runoff between Lenín Moreno of the AP and Guillermo Lasso of Creando Oportunidades (Creo).
FH: 3-3, partly free (democratic). Econ: 5.64 (88), hybrid.
Updated: 2017 March 23.
 

O.T. FORD