Conservative Party (Ecuador)

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The Conservative Party (in Spanish: Partido Conservador (PC)) was an Ecuadorian conservative party formed in 1869.[1] Initially associated with the military of Ecuador the PC became one of the two great parties of state in the country, alternating in power with the Ecuadorian Radical Liberal Party.

Development[edit]

The PC was formed by Gabriel García Moreno to be the party of state during one of his spells as President of Ecuador.[2] The party would then divide the Presidency with the Liberals until the 1895 coup that brought the reformer Eloy Alfaro to power, whilst the 1925 coup that ousted Gonzalo Córdova (himself a Liberal) further entrenched reformist hegemony and damaged the PC.[3]

The PC was able to regroup however, winning the elections in 1931 for Neptalí Bonifaz Ascásubi, albeit with the result annulled and in 1956 when their winning candidate Camilo Ponce Enríquez assumed the Presidency. The PC candidate Otto Arosemena was also appointed President in 1966 by the Constituent Assembly.[3] Whilst a member of their party was not elected the Conservatives endorsed the victorious José María Velasco Ibarra in 1933 and supported him again as part of the alliance to oust Carlos Alberto Arroyo del Río after the Ecuadorian–Peruvian War and subsequent treaties.[4]

Tendencies[edit]

Like many traditional political parties in South America the PC was a broad coalition featuring a number of interest groups. Foremost amongst these was the army which usually worked in close tandem with the PC.[3]

The Roman Catholic Church was the other great influence on the PC and the party sought to represent Catholicism in its most traditional form, to the extent that more radical elements broke away to form the Social Christian Party under Ponce Enríquez. The two groups did subsequently co-operate however.[5] A more radical Christian tendency also existed in the form of the Frente Anti-Comunista de Defensa Nacional (FADN), an anti-communist milita group active during the late 1940s.[6] Distinct from the Christian tendency, although active around the same time as the FADN was the Alianza Revolucionaria Nacionalista Ecuatoriana, a tendency inspired by fascism that sought to directly confront leftists.[6]

Later years[edit]

By the 1960s the PC, along with their Liberal rivals, had faded somewhat from their leading position in Ecuadorian politics. By the 1980s both parties were junior partners in the Frente de Reconstrución Nacional coalition of León Febres Cordero, which was dominated by the Christian Social Party.[7] The party continues to be an active force amongst its traditional stronghold of the landowers but has suffered due to the departure of Popular Democracy and the introduction of universal suffrage which significantly reduced landowner influence.[8]

In the 2009 elections, a remnant of the Conservative Party, known as the Social Conservative Movement of Carchi, won a seat in the National Assembly of Ecuador from Carchi Province.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Traditional Parties
  2. ^ Hugo Neira, 'Ecuador' in Jean-Pierre Bernard et al., Guide to the Political Parties of South America, Harmondsworth, 1973, pp. 330-367, p. 334
  3. ^ a b c Neira, p. 335
  4. ^ Neira, pp. 339-40
  5. ^ Neira, p. 336
  6. ^ a b Neira, p. 337
  7. ^ Party Politics in the 1980s
  8. ^ Kathryn B. Sanderson, ECUADOR: The Party System from 1963 to 2000