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New progressive wave halted in Ecuador

The advances of the left in Latin America have been stopped and the former banker Guillermo Lasso will be the next president of Ecuador. His triumph occurred despite the rejection of his political programme by several social sectors that today regret his victory.


Guillermo Lasso. Photo Medios Publicos EP / Flickr. Creative CommonsLicense.

Sinay Céspedes Moreno


With just over 52%, the conservative candidate of the centre-right alliance CREO-Partido Social Cristiano (PSC) defeated Andrés Arauz, the candidate of former president Rafael Correa, representative of the progressive and left-wing coalition, Unión por la Esperanza (UNES), and one of the main leaders of continental Chavism.

The victory came as a shock to sectors that supported UNES during the election campaign, as well as to those who relied on the polls that gave UNES an advantage of a political stronghold.

It also equally constituted a disappointment to those who feared a possible victory for Lasso, since in the opinion of many, he co-governed with Lenín Moreno, the current president, whose administration distanced itself from the programmatic platform with which he obtained majority support in the 2017 election.

On being proclaimed dignitary, the CREO-PSC representative ratified promises such as the recovery of sources of employment, a rise in the basic salary from 400 to 500 dollars, boosting entrepreneurs with financial support, quality education, universities accessible to all and better health care.

His proposals coincide with a difficult period for the country, plunged into an economic and health crisis due to the spread of Covid-19, which the defender of private banking will have to deal with.

For several social groups, the cost of the popular decision will be high, with a special impact on the working class, who have been resentful due to  layoffs, lower incomes and increasing need for basic necessities, among other problems.

Regarding the results of the second round of elections, the academic and political analyst Fernando Casado told Prensa Latina that UNES lost the vote for three fundamental reasons. On the one hand, there is a very clear victory in Pichincha, where, with the vote count almost complete, the difference is 30 points, bearing in mind that the province accounts for 17% of the total electorate.

On the other hand, another reason for the defeat is related to Guayas, where 22% of the voters are located and where a margin in favour of Arauz was expected to be greater than the 5% obtained with respect to Lasso. However, this territory has always been a Social Christian arena.

A third decisive reason was the null vote promoted by the Pachakutik Party, third in the first round of elections: it ended up as a massive support for CREO-PSC.

And, he added, “the dirty war and campaigns based on the trivialisation of politics, emptying a rational programmatic proposal of its content, and in a way, fear mongering also triumphed” playing an important role in the victory of the far-right candidate.

“We have seen this in other places with Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil), Donald Trump (United States) and here again this type of politics has been victorious,” he said.

In his opinion, from now on a very complex panorama opens up for Ecuador, with a continuation of the last four years.

It will also be necessary to see how the new president resolves the issue in the National Assembly, where his party has a minority number of legislators and will have to make pacts with an extremely fragmented parliament.

“In any case, the progressive wave in Latin America, with the latest victories of the left, has been halted in Ecuador”, he concluded. (PL)

(Translated by Rene Phelvin) Fotos Pixabay

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