QUITO – Ecuadorian citizens were asked this Sunday to decide the political course of the country for the coming years, although this time they will do so sooner after the premature collapse of the government of Guillermo Lasso and after a marked campaign Insecurity is an example, with the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio with barely a week and a half to vote.
Lasso took office in May 2021 with the premise of broadening the horizons of different parts of Ecuador, and in the following two years, Ecuador ended up mired in an almost constant political and social crisis. The improvements in macroeconomic statistics have not been able to curb the levels of inequality and poverty, one of the great objectives of the former banker.
The last straw in the South American country’s fragile stability came in May, when an impeachment trial began against the president for alleged corruption. Russo pleaded not guilty and accused the National Assembly -dominated by the opposition, with which he has experienced several conflicts- of putting the country in a “serious crisis”.
In this argument, he invoked the so-called “cross death”, a constitutional privilege intended to dissolve parliament at the expense of a simultaneous presidential election. As a result, more than 13 million Ecuadorians will elect this Sunday head of state and new representatives, although not for a full term, but to complete those already in progress, which end in 2025.
The campaign that followed the call revealed strong political polarization, with threats at almost every level and the growing activity of armed groups identified as a major issue, with gangs waging ad hoc battles in the streets and in prisons.
Ecuador’s homicide rate will go from 13.7 per 100,000 inhabitants to more than 25 between 2021 and 2022, an unprecedented figure that is expected to increase this year. A Gallup safety poll from last year found that two-thirds of Ecuadorians feel unsafe walking alone at night.
Lasso has activated several states of emergency to curb violence in areas like Guayaquil, despite the fact that insecurity reached new levels after the assassination of candidate Villavicencio on August 9. Six people have been detained as part of the investigation into who ordered the crime, which has caused a sensation at home and abroad.
The National Electoral Commission (CNE) reaffirmed the electoral date after the shooting and stressed that all organizations must work together to guarantee security. The National Police will deploy more than 53,000 troops and the Armed Forces some 43,000 troops.
Correa candidate, favorite
The opponent to defeat in these elections is Luisa González, deputy of the Civic Revolutionary Party, political heir to former President Rafael Correa, who has struggled in recent months leading all the polls, her intention to vote is around 30% in some cases.
If the prediction is fulfilled and he does not obtain a qualified majority, there will be a second round, although since the Code of Democracy prohibits the diffusion of polls ten days before an election, nobody dares to take anything for granted. The latest investigation was released on August 10, one day after Villavicencio’s murder.
The candidate of the “Construction Movement” was one of the few candidates with fewer options, but the party did not throw in the towel and pushed journalist Christian Zurita “to the edge of the abyss” until this Wednesday (one day) the CNE approved his candidacy. before the event officially ends. The level of his support is a big unknown in the current situation.
After the correísta candidates, and always taking into account the official polls, a branch of candidates emerged, from which Yaku Pérez emerged as the leader of Claro que se Puede. The indigenous leader, who tried to run for Ecuador’s president in the past, has joined several left-wing parties and, like González, today denounced Ecuador as a “failed state.”
On a similar level to Peres is Otto Sonnenholzner, former vice president of the government of Lenín Moreno, and businessman Jan Topic, who identifies himself as the president of El Salvador, Nayib · Follower of Nayib Bukele’s despotic policy, eager to surprise.