Politics of Ecuador

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The politics of Ecuador are multi-party.[1] The central government polity is a four-yearly 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.[2]

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.

The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Ecuador as a "hybrid regime" in 2016.[3]

Political conditions[edit]

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.[4] 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 August 10, 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.[5]

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.[6]

Judicial branch[edit]

The former Supreme Court of Ecuador[edit]

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.[7] 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[edit]

President Períod
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
Miguel Alvarado 1850
Pedro José de Arteta y Calisto 1851
Pablo Vásconez Román 1852
Antonio Bustamante del Mazo 1853
Miguel Alvarado 1854
Ramón Borja 1855
Carlos Tamayo 1856
Antonio Bustamante del Mazo 1857
Nicolás Espinosa 1858
Manuel Carrión 1859
Ramón Miño 1860
Pedro José de Arteta y Calisto 1861
Ramón Miño 1862
Antonio Gómez de la Torre 1863
Carlos Tamayo 1864
Pedro José de Arteta y Calisto 1865
Ramón Miño 1866
Antonio Muñoz 1867
Luis A. Salazar 1868
Manuel Checa 1869
Pablo Herrera González 1869
Ramón Miño 1870
Nicolás Martínez 1871
Rafael Carvajal Guzmán 1872
Luis A. Salazar 1873
Rafael Quevedo 1874
Pablo Herrera González 1875
Pedro Fermín Cevallos 1876
Julio Castro 1877
Antonio Muñoz 1878
Antonio Portilla 1879
Francisco A. Arboleda 1880
Vicente Nieto 1881
León Espinosa de los Monteros 1882
Vicente Nieto 1883-1885
Pedro Fermín Cevallos 1886
Pedro J. Cevallos y Fernández Salvador 1886
Alejandro Ribadeneira Salazar 1887
Julio Castro 1888
Antonio Robalino 1889
Luis A. Salazar 1890
Julio Castro 1891
Antonio Portilla 1892
José Modesto Espinosa 1893
Vicente Nieto 1894
José Modesto Espinosa 1895
Francisco J. Montalvo 1896
León Espinosa de los Monteros 1897
Vicente Nieto 1898
Manuel Montalvo 1899
José María Borja 1900
Belisario Albán Mestanza 1901
Leopoldo Pino 1902
Manuel Benigno Cueva Betancourt 1903
Belisario Albán Mestanza 1904
Leopoldo Pino 1905
Belisario Albán Mestanza 1906
Manuel Montalvo 1907
Pacífico Villagómez 1908
Alejandro Cárdenas 1909
Belisario Albán Mestanza 1910
Pacífico Villagómez 1911
Belisario Albán Mestanza 1912
Alejandro Cárdenas 1913
Francisco Andrade Marín 1914
Leopoldo Pino 1915
Manuel Eduardo Escudero 1916
Alejandro Cárdenas 1917
Leopoldo Pino 1918
Alejandro Cárdenas 1919
Belisario Albán Mestanza 1920
Leopoldo Pino 1921
Modesto A. Peñaherrera 1922
José María Ayora Cueva 1923
Manuel Eduardo Escudero Viteri 1924
Leopoldo Pino 1925
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)[edit]

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.[8][9]

National Court of Justice[edit]

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.[10]

List of presidents[edit]
President Period
José Vicente Troya Jaramillo 2008-2011
Carlos Ramírez Romero 2011-2012
2012-2015
2015-2018
Paulina Aguirre Suárez 2018-present

Judiciary Council[edit]

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 May 5, 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[edit]

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.[11]

List of presidents[edit]
President Períod
Patricio Pazmiño Freire 2008-2015
Alfredo Ruiz Guzmán 2015-2018
Hernán Salgado Pesántes 2019-present

As of 2019, the court has the following members:[12]

  • Hernán Salgado Pesántes
  • Carmen Corral
  • Agustín Grijalva
  • Teresa Nuques
  • Enrique Herrera
  • Karla Andrade
  • Ramiro Ávila
  • Daniela Salazar
  • Alí Lozada

Executive branch[edit]

Structure[edit]

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.[13]

Presidency[edit]

The President and Vice-President are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term.[13]

Controversy surrounding Lucio Gutiérrez[edit]

On April 20, 2005, by an act of Congress, Lucio Gutiérrez was dramatically removed from office. The last election was held on October 20, 2002 and a runoff election on November 24, 2002 (with the next one to be held in 2006 per the four-year term limits).[14]

Former Vice-President Alfredo Palacio assumed the presidency on April 20, 2005 after Congress removed Lucio Gutiérrez amid escalating street protests precipitated by growing criticism of Gutiérrez's Supreme Court appointments.[15][16]

Presidency of Rafael Correa[edit]

A presidential election was held on October 15 and November 26, 2006. Rafael Correa defeated Alvaro Noboa in a run-off election, or second and final round. Correa won with 56.8% of the vote.[17] There was an attempted coup against President Rafael Correa in 2010.[18] 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.[19]

Current officeholders[edit]

Current President of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno
Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Lenín Moreno Alianza País 24 May 2017
Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner Independent 11 December 2018

Legislative branch[edit]

Ecuador has a unicameral National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional in Spanish), and it has 137 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.[20]

History[edit]

On November 29, 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.[21]

Political parties and elections[edit]

Administrative divisions[edit]

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.

Legal system[edit]

Ecuador's legal system is based on the civil law system. Ecuador recently accepted compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction.[22]

Female representation in the Assembly[edit]

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%

As of 2017, the leadership is led by three women: Gabriela Rivadeneira (President), Rosana Alvarado (First Vice-President) and Marcela Aguiñaga (Second Vice-President).[23]

International organization participation[edit]

Ecuador or Ecuadorian organizations participate in the following international organizations:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ecuador". NIMD. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  2. ^ "ECUADOR" (PDF). U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-04-17.
  3. ^ "Democracy Index 2016 - The Economist Intelligence Unit". www.eiu.com. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  4. ^ Pugh, Jeff (2008). "Vectors of Contestation: Social Movements and Party Systems in Ecuador and Colombia". Latin American Essays. 21: 46–65.
  5. ^ Romero, Simon (2007-04-16). "Ecuador Appears Likely to Rewrite Constitution". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  6. ^ "Pacari, primera indigena ministra en Ecuador". BBC World. 2002-12-31. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  7. ^ Forero, Juan (2004-12-18). "Firings on Ecuador's Top Court Stir Opposition's Wrath". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  8. ^ "Ecuador". FIU Center for the Administration of Justice. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  9. ^ "Supreme Court in Ecuador replaced". BBC World. 2004-12-10. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  10. ^ "La Corte". www.cortenacional.gob.ec (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  11. ^ "Cambios en la justicia ecuatoriana" (PDF). Revista de la Fundación para el Debido Proceso Legal (DPLF). November 3, 2009.
  12. ^ "4 mujeres y 5 hombres integran la nueva Corte Constitucional de Ecuador". El Comercio. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  13. ^ a b Political Risk Yearbook: South America. Frost & Sullivan. 2010.
  14. ^ "The Basic Structure of the Ecuadorian Legal System and Legal Research - GlobaLex". www.nyulawglobal.org. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  15. ^ "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). 2014-12-25. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  16. ^ "Ecuadorean President Ousted From Office by Lawmakers". Los Angeles Times. 2005-04-21. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  17. ^ "Ecuador Exit Polls Show Correa Wins Presidential Vote (Update2)" Bloomberg
  18. ^ "Ecuador court orders ex-president's arrest". BBC World. 2018-07-04. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  19. ^ "Trial by Fire for Ecuador's President Correa". www.counterpunch.org. 2015-08-26. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  20. ^ "Constituida la nueva Asamblea Nacional de Ecuador, de mayoría gobernante". El Confidencial (in Spanish). 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  21. ^ "Un nuevo movimiento inició un proceso para impulsar una Asamblea Constituyente en Ecuador". El Comercio. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  22. ^ "The Basic Structure of the Ecuadorian Legal System and Legal Research - GlobaLex". www.nyulawglobal.org. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  23. ^ "En Ecuador: La representación femenina en la Asamblea Nacional supera el promedio mundial". EcuadorUniversitario.Com (in Spanish). 2017-03-09. Retrieved 2019-04-26.

External links[edit]