Politics of Ecuador
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politics and government of
The politics of Ecuador are multi-party. The central government polity is a quadrennially elected presidential, unicameral representative democracy. The President of Ecuador is head of state and head of the army on a multi-party system, and leads a cabinet with further executive power. Legislative power is not limited to the National Assembly, as it may to a lesser degree be exercised by the executive which consists of the President convening an appointed executive cabinet. Subsequent acts of the National Assembly are supreme over Executive Orders where sufficient votes have been cast by the legislators. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Ecuador is also considered a constitutional republic.
The Constitution of Ecuador provides for a four-year term of office for the President, Vice-President, and members of the National Assembly with concurrent elections. Presidents and legislators may be re-elected immediately. Citizens must be at least 16 years of age to vote: suffrage is universal and compulsory for literate persons aged 18 to 65 and optional for 16 and 17 years of age and other eligible voters.
Ecuador's political parties have historically been small, loose organizations that depended more on populist, often charismatic, leaders to retain support than on programs or ideology. Frequent internal splits have produced extreme factionalism. However, a pattern has emerged in which administrations from the center-left alternate with those from the center-right. Although Ecuador's political elite is highly factionalized along regional, ideological, and personal lines, a strong desire for consensus on major issues often leads to compromise. Opposition forces in Congress are loosely organized, but historically they often unite to block the administration's initiatives and to remove cabinet ministers.
Constitutional changes enacted by a specially elected National Constitutional Assembly in 1998 took effect on 10 August 1998. The new constitution strengthens the executive branch by eliminating mid-term congressional elections and by circumscribing Congress' power to challenge cabinet ministers. Party discipline is traditionally weak, and routinely many deputies switch allegiance during each Congress. However, after the new Constitution took effect, the Congress passed a Code of Ethics which imposes penalties on members who defy their party leadership on key votes.
Beginning with the 1996 election, the more indigenous, less Spanish-rooted, ethnic groups abandoned their traditional policy of shunning the official political system and participated actively. The indigenous population has established itself as a significant force in Ecuadorian politics, as shown by the selection of indigenous representative Nina Pacari, who led the indigenous political party, Pachakutik, as Second Vice-President of the 1998 Congress.
The former Supreme Court of Ecuador
New justices of the Supreme Court of Ecuador were elected by the sitting members of the court. A bare majority of Congress, acting in a special session called by former President Lucio Gutiérrez in December 2004, ousted 27 of the 31 justices and replaced them with new members chosen by Congress; notwithstanding, the lack of any provisions permitting impeachment of Supreme Court justices by Congress and the specific provisions giving the Court the power to select new members. Earlier, in November 2004, Congress replaced the majority of judges on the country's Electoral Court and Constitutional Court by a similar process.
List of presidents
|José Fernández Salvador López||1830–1834|
|José María de Arteta y Calisto||1835|
|Joaquín Gutiérrez Restrepo||1836|
|Fidel Quijano Valencia||1837|
|Víctor Félix de Sanmiguel Cacho||1838|
|José María de Arteta y Calisto||1839–1840|
|Joaquín Gutiérrez Restrepo||1841|
|Víctor Félix de Sanmiguel Cacho||1842|
|José María de Arteta y Calisto||1843|
|Joaquín Gutiérrez Restrepo||1844|
|Luis De Saá||1845|
|Víctor Félix de Sanmiguel Cacho||1846–1847|
|Salvador Ortega Estacio||1848|
|Pedro José de Arteta y Calisto||1849|
|Pedro José de Arteta y Calisto||1851|
|Pablo Vásconez Román||1852|
|Antonio Bustamante del Mazo||1853|
|Antonio Bustamante del Mazo||1857|
|Pedro José de Arteta y Calisto||1861|
|Antonio Gómez de la Torre||1863|
|Pedro José de Arteta y Calisto||1865|
|Luis A. Salazar||1868|
|Pablo Herrera González||1869|
|Rafael Carvajal Guzmán||1872|
|Luis A. Salazar||1873|
|Pablo Herrera González||1875|
|Pedro Fermín Cevallos||1876|
|Francisco A. Arboleda||1880|
|León Espinosa de los Monteros||1882|
|Pedro Fermín Cevallos||1886|
|Pedro J. Cevallos y Fernández Salvador||1886|
|Alejandro Ribadeneira Salazar||1887|
|Luis A. Salazar||1890|
|José Modesto Espinosa||1893|
|José Modesto Espinosa||1895|
|Francisco J. Montalvo||1896|
|León Espinosa de los Monteros||1897|
|José María Borja||1900|
|Belisario Albán Mestanza||1901|
|Manuel Benigno Cueva Betancourt||1903|
|Belisario Albán Mestanza||1904|
|Belisario Albán Mestanza||1906|
|Belisario Albán Mestanza||1910|
|Belisario Albán Mestanza||1912|
|Francisco Andrade Marín||1914|
|Manuel Eduardo Escudero||1916|
|Belisario Albán Mestanza||1920|
|Modesto A. Peñaherrera||1922|
|José María Ayora Cueva||1923|
|Manuel Eduardo Escudero Viteri||1924|
|José Luis Román||1925|
|Modesto A. Peñaherrera||1926|
|José María Ayora Cueva||1927|
|Manuel Eduardo Escudero Viteri||1928|
|Manuel R. Balarezo||1929|
|Francisco Pérez Borja||1930|
|Pablo N. Roldán||1931|
|Manuel Eduardo Escudero Viteri||1932|
|Manuel María Borrero González||1932|
|José Antonio Baquero de la Calle||1933|
|Camilo Octavio Andrade López||1934|
|Vicente Enríquez Andrade||1935|
|Alejandro Ribadeneira Salazar||1936|
|Camilo Octavio Andrade López||1937|
|Benjamín Terán Coronel||1939|
|Camilo Octavio Andrade López||1940|
|Belisario Ponce Borja||1941|
|Celio Enrique Salvador Quintana||1942|
|Leoncio Patiño Carrión||1943|
|Aurelio A. Bayas Argudo||1944|
|Belisario Ponce Borja||1945|
|José María Suárez M.||1946|
|Belisario Ponce Borja||1947|
|Alejandro Ribadeneira Salazar||1948|
|Camilo Gallegos Toledo||1949|
|José María Villagómez Román||1950|
|Benjamín Cevallos Arízaga||1951|
|Luis F. Madera Negrete||1952|
|Manuel Elicio Flor Torres||1953|
|Alfonso Mora Bowen||1954|
|Camilo Gallegos Toledo||1955|
|José María Villagómez Román||1956|
|Benjamín Cevallos Arízaga||1957|
|Luis Eladio Benítez Jara||1958|
|Manuel Elicio Flor Torres||1959|
|Benjamín Cevallos Arízaga||1960|
|Camilo Gallegos Toledo||1961|
|José María Villagómez Román||1962|
|Francisco Montero Carrión||1963|
|Francisco Ochoa Ortiz||1964|
|Julio Tobar Donoso||1965|
|Francisco Páez Romero||1965|
|Arturo del Pozo Saltos||1966|
|Francisco Ochoa Ortiz||1967|
|Julio Tobar Donoso||1968|
|Benjamín Cevallos Arízaga||1968|
|Ricardo Cornejo Rosales||1969|
|César Durango Montenegro||1970|
|Rafael Terán Varea||1971|
|Miguel Aguirre Sánchez||1972|
|Tomás Valdiviezo Alba||1973|
|Carlos A. Jaramillo Andrade||1974–1975|
|Luis Jaramillo Pérez||1976|
|César Durango Montenegro||1977|
|Gonzalo Karolys Martínez||1978–1979|
|Armando Pareja Andrade||1979–1981|
|Gonzalo Zambrano Palacios||1981–1983|
|Carlos Pozo Montesdeoca||1983–1984|
|Gonzalo Córdova Galarza||1984–1986|
|Germán Carrión Arciniegas||1986–1987|
|Juan Agustín Quinde Burneo||1987–1988|
|Ramiro Larrea Santos||1988–1990|
|Walter Guerrero Vivanco||1990–1993|
|Francisco Acosta Yépez||1993–1995|
|Miguel Macías Hurtado||1995|
|Carlos Solórzano Constantine||1995–1997|
|Héctor Romero Parducci||1997–2000|
|Galo Pico Mantilla||2000–2002|
|Armando Bermeo Castillo||2002–2004|
|Hugo Quintana Coello||2004|
|Ramón Rodríguez Noboa||2004–2005|
|Guillermo Castro Dáger||2005|
|Jaime Velasco Dávila||2005–2008|
|Roberto Gómez Mera||2008|
Reorganization of Court (2008)
After the adoption of a new Constitution in 2008, the judicial branch of the country was completely renewed to provide a cooperative leadership by having a judicial and an administrative head. As such, the bodies of Ecuador's judicial branch now consisted of the National Court of Justice, provincial courts (created by the National Court), tribunals and judges, National Council of the Judicature, Public Defendants' Office, and State Attorneys' Office. The 2008 Constitution also led to the creation of the Constitutional Court of Ecuador.
National Court of Justice
The National Court of Justice seats 21 judges elected for a period of 9 years. They are elected by the Judiciary Council based on a merits contest held by that office. They are the final stage of any judicial process serving as a Court of Cassation and create binding precedent based on Triple Reiterative Rulings from the Chambers of the Court. The President of the Court is elected among the members of the Court for a Period of three years where s/he will represent the Judicial Branch before the State.
List of presidents
|José Vicente Troya Jaramillo||2008–2011|
|Carlos Ramírez Romero||2011–2012|
|Paulina Aguirre Suárez||2018–present|
The administrative branch of the judicial power consists of the Judiciary Council. The Council is formed by 9 Vocals who are elected by the Branch of Transparency and Social Control, which is formed by the Control Authorities of the State. The Vocals are elected also by a merits contest and it shall be formed by six experts in law and 3 experts in management, economics and other related areas. However, after the National Referendum that took place on 5 May 2011 led to the passing of a proposition impulsed by the government, the Judiciary Council changed its formation by making a constitutional amendment. Currently, a Tri-Party Commission is serving as a Transitional Council with delegates from the Legislative, Executive and Transparency Branch, in order to reform the broken judicial system of the country.
Constitutional Court of Ecuador
The Constitutional Court of Ecuador does not exercise legal revision, but rather constitutional control of situations where constitutional rights are violated. Also they are the sole body in the State to interpret what the Constitution says.
List of presidents
|Patricio Pazmiño Freire||2008–2015|
|Alfredo Ruiz Guzmán||2015–2018|
|Hernán Salgado Pesántes||2019–present|
As of 2019, the court has the following members:
- Hernán Salgado Pesántes
- Carmen Corral
- Agustín Grijalva
- Teresa Nuques
- Enrique Herrera
- Karla Andrade
- Ramiro Ávila
- Daniela Salazar
- Alí Lozada
The executive branch includes 28 ministries. Provincial governors and councilors, like mayors and aldermen and parish boards, are directly elected. Congress meets throughout the year except for recess in July and December. There are 20 seven-member congressional committees.
The President and Vice-President are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term.
Controversy surrounding Lucio Gutiérrez
On 20 April 2005, by an act of Congress, Lucio Gutiérrez was dramatically removed from office. The last election was held on 20 October 2002 and a runoff election on 24 November 2002 (with the next one to be held in 2006 per the four-year term limits).
Former Vice-President Alfredo Palacio assumed the presidency on 20 April 2005 after Congress removed Lucio Gutiérrez amid escalating street protests precipitated by growing criticism of Gutiérrez's Supreme Court appointments.
Presidency of Rafael Correa
A presidential election was held on 15 October and 26 November 2006. Rafael Correa defeated Alvaro Noboa in a run-off election, or second and final round. Correa won with 56.8% of the vote. There was an attempted coup against President Rafael Correa in 2010. Correa became the first president in decades to win re-election and complete multiple full terms. He enjoyed a long period of sustained high approval ratings and stability before plummeting oil prices, proposed tax increases, and accusations of increasingly authoritarian behavior sparked protests and eroded his popularity in the final two years of his presidency.
|President||Lenín Moreno||Alianza País||24 May 2017|
|Vice President||Otto Sonnenholzner||Independent||11 December 2018|
Ecuador has a unicameral National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional in Spanish), and it has 137 primary (seat-holding) members (all of whom are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms). It is based on provincial constituencies, but it also has members coming from a national list and it has members representing the emigrant community.
On 29 November 2007, the Ecuadorian Constituent Assembly dismissed Congress on charges of corruption and then assumed legislative powers for itself. The Constituent Assembly then proposed a new National Assembly, which is the current institution.
Political parties and elections
Ecuador is divided into 24 provinces: Azuay, Bolívar, Cañar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galápagos Islands, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Ríos, Manabí, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Sucumbíos, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe Santa Elena Province.
Female representation in the Assembly
In 1979, there was no female representation. By 1984, there was only 4.2% of female representation with three deputies. In 1986, the number was reduced to one female parliamentarian.
Between 1988 and 1996, the average percentage of female representation was around of 5%. The following trends occurred:
- 1998: 13%
- 2003: 18%
- 2006: 26%
- 2007: 35%
- 2009: 29%
- 2013: 42%
International organization participation
Ecuador or Ecuadorian organizations participate in the following international organizations:
- Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA)
- Andean Community of Nations (CAN)
- Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)
- Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- Group of Eleven (G-11), Group of 77 (G-77)
- Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- International Red Cross
- International Development Association (IDA)
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- International Finance Corporation (IFC)
- International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat)
- International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
- International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
- Latin American Economic System (LAES)
- Latin American Integration Association (LAIA)
- Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
- Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL)
- Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
- Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), RG
- UNASUR (headquarters)
- United Nations
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
- Universal Postal Union (UPU)
- World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- World Tourism Organization (WToO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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- The Economist Intelligence Unit (8 January 2019). "Democracy Index 2019". Economist Intelligence Unit. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
- Pugh, Jeff (2008). "Vectors of Contestation: Social Movements and Party Systems in Ecuador and Colombia". Latin American Essays. 21: 46–65.
- Romero, Simon (16 April 2007). "Ecuador Appears Likely to Rewrite Constitution". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Pacari, primera indigena ministra en Ecuador". BBC World. 31 December 2002. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Forero, Juan (18 December 2004). "Firings on Ecuador's Top Court Stir Opposition's Wrath". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
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- "Cambios en la justicia ecuatoriana" (PDF). Revista de la Fundación para el Debido Proceso Legal (DPLF). 3 November 2009.
- "4 mujeres y 5 hombres integran la nueva Corte Constitucional de Ecuador". El Comercio. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- Political Risk Yearbook: South America. Frost & Sullivan. 2010.
- "The Basic Structure of the Ecuadorian Legal System and Legal Research – GlobaLex". www.nyulawglobal.org. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Alfredo Palacio juró su cargo como presidente de Ecuador tras la destitución de Lucio Gutiérrez, que ha pedido asilo al gobierno brasileño desde su embajada". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 25 December 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Ecuadorean President Ousted From Office by Lawmakers". Los Angeles Times. 21 April 2005. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
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- National Assembly of Ecuador
- Presidency of Ecuador
- Supreme Court of Justice
- Global Integrity Report: Ecuador has analysis of corruption and anti-corruption in Ecuador