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Hammond, Rachel Lynne.
Outsiders and the impact of party affiliation in Ecuadorian presidential elections
h [electronic resource] /
by Rachel Lynne Hammond.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2004.
Includes bibliographical references.
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ABSTRACT: How has the party affiliation of presidential candidates impacted presidential elections in Ecuador? Historically, how have political party candidates and outsiders performed in elections and how has this changed over the last 20 years of democratic history? This case study attempts to answer fundamental questions about the connections between parties and electablility of presidential candidates. In a country with an inchoate party system and a history of populism, personalist candidates have always had relatively high levels of electoral success. Yet, it would seem that preference for unaligned candidates is increasing. After years of domination by political party candidates, the Ecuadorian people elected two political neophytes to compete in the final round of the 2002 elections. Both campaigned as outsiders, with strong opposition to the party system, and both created personal political parties that served as electoral vehicles. The dependent variable, the success of outsider candidates in the 2002 elections, appears to come from three main independent variables: a history of weak and highly ineffective parties, voter alienation from institutions due to continuing political and economic crises, and a political culture that revolves around personalist and populist presidents. Because of these evident trends, outsiders in Ecuador have found favorable situations for messages of opposition to the political system. In addition, appeals to alienated citizens, based on a personal campaign, have proven successful in Ecuadorian elections. Parties appear to become increasingly irrelevant in the executive sphere. After a brief historical orientation, this thesis discusses the impact of the presidencies of Abdala Bucaram (elected 1996, impeached 1997) and Jamil Mahuad (elected 1998, overthrown 2000) as important background for the 2002 election. The hypothesis is that in 2002, alignment with traditional political parties damaged candidates in the presidential elections. This paper analyzes the candidates that participated in the 2002 campaign, and concludes that affiliating with traditional political parties damaged candidates' electoral chances.
Adviser: Vanden, Harry
x Latin American Studies
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Outsiders and the Impact of Party Affilia tion in Ecuadorian Presidential Elections by Rachel Lynne Hammond A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement s for the degree of Masters of Arts Department of Department of Govern ment and International Studies College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Harry Vanden, Ph.D. Paul Dosal, Ph.D. Linda Whiteford, Ph.D. Date of Approval: July 14, 2004 Keywords: Ecuador, political parties, Gutirrez, regionalism, democracy Copyright 2004, Rachel Hammond
Dedication For the Ecuadorian people who struggle daily to survive, whether in their native country or as immigrants in a strange and distant land; and for the leaders of the country, that God may guide t hem to find a strategy of governing that allows for representation, equal ity and justice. Que Dios les bendiga.
Acknowledgments First and foremost, I rejoice with my Lord who has given me the opportunity to experience Ecuador and its people, and allowed me to intimately study the country that I have grown to love deeply. I also praise God for my wonderful, encouraging parents that have been my support system through countless days of writing, editing, rewriti ng, and editing again. I love them both. Dr. Brian Wallace, my professor and friend from Capital University, introduced me to Ecuador with his gent le guidance during my undergraduate years. He encouraged me to take charge of my own education and allowed me to spend multiple semesters doing research and volunteer work in Ecuador. He gave me the thirst for k nowledge about Latin America. Dr. Harry Vanden and his high sta ndards have made this document something I am proud of, and I am deeply grateful for the time and energy he has dedicated to my education over the past two years. He has taught me to not accept less than the best fr om myself, and that is a lesson that will be with me for all of my life. His mentori ng, along with that of Dr. Paul Dosal, has shaped my academic life. They have humbled me wit h their dedication to my growth as a scholar and as a person. In addition, Dr Linda Whitefords assistance on the thesis was greatly appreciated. Finally, I want to thank my fr iends, who probably know more about Ecuadorian politics than they ever want ed to, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies office for their support, and my fianc, Juan Carlos Ramirez, who saw me through the final stages of this project and kept me motivated.
i Table of Contents Abstra ct................................................................................................................ iii Chapter One Litera ture Revi ew............................................................................1 Introduc tion................................................................................................1 Democratic Systems..................................................................................6 Political Parties..........................................................................................7 Populism, Neopopulism, and Personal ism...............................................15 Delegative De mocracy.............................................................................17 Outsiders and Ca se Studi es....................................................................19 Ecuadorian Lite rature...............................................................................23 Chapter Two Research De sign and Methodol ogy..............................................32 Case Study Design.................................................................................. 32 Field Experi ence......................................................................................38 Document A nalysis ..................................................................................40 Historical Deve lopment............................................................................40 The 2002 Elec tions..................................................................................43 Chapter Three The Return to Democra cy and Ecuadors First Three Elections.47 Historical Cons truction .............................................................................47 Jos Mara Velasco Ibarra and his Impact on the Politic al System..........54 Transition to Democracy and Political Pa rties..........................................63 1979-Widespread Support for Len Rol ds ............................................66 1984-Len Febres Corder o and the Ri ght...............................................71 1988-Rodrigo Borja and the Lef t..............................................................74 Chapter Four The Shi ft Occurs (1 992-2002) ......................................................80 1992-Sixto Durn Balln-From Insider to Ou tsider ..................................80 1996-Abdal Bucaram, the Popul ist........................................................86 1998-Jamil Mahuad, the Ca reer Politic ian...............................................95 Economic Collapse a nd January 21, 2000.............................................106 The Disappearance of a Part y...............................................................114 Chapter Five 2002 and the Tr iumph of Outs iders.............................................116 Potential Candidates and Speculat ion................................................... 120 Alvaro Noboa, the Busine ssman and Rich Be nefactor ..........................123
ii Lucio Gutirrez, the Military Coup ster.................................................... 129 Len Rolds, t he Independent ...............................................................136 Jacobo Bucaram, The Exiled Ex-Presidents Brother ............................138 Traditional C andidates ...........................................................................143 Rodrigo Borja, the Ex perienced Polit ician..............................................145 Xavier Neira, the Insider and Free Market Advocate.............................146 Round One A nalysis ..............................................................................149 The Second Round a nd the Resu lts......................................................156 Chapter Six C onclusions ..................................................................................162 Political Pa rties......................................................................................162 Legislative-Executiv e Relations hips....................................................... 166 An Empowered El ectorate .....................................................................167 Outsider s...............................................................................................169 Social Move ments.................................................................................171 Final Thou ghts.......................................................................................173 References .......................................................................................................175
iii Outsiders and the Impact of Party A ffiliation in Ecuadorian Presidential Elections Rachel Hammond ABSTRACT How has the party affiliation of presidential candidates impacted presidential elections in Ecuador? Historically, how have political party candidates and outsiders performed in elections and how has this changed over the last 20 years of democr atic history? This case study attempts to answer fundamental questions about t he connections between parties and electablility of presidential candidates. In a country wit h an inchoate party system and a history of populism, personalist candidates have always had relatively high levels of electoral success. Yet, it would seem that preference for unaligned candidates is increasing. After years of dominati on by political party candidates, the Ecuadorian people elected two political neophy tes to compete in the final round of the 2002 elections. Both campaigned as outsiders, with strong opposition to the party system, and both created persona l political parties that served as electoral vehicles.
iv The dependent variable, the success of outsider candidates in the 2002 elections, appears to come from three main independent variables: a history of weak and highly ineffective parties, vote r alienation from institutions due to continuing political and economic crises, and a political culture that revolves around personalist and populist presidents. Because of these evident trends, outsiders in Ecuador have found favorable si tuations for messages of opposition to the political system. In addition, appeal s to alienated citizens, based on a personal campaign, have proven successf ul in Ecuadorian elections. Parties appear to become increasingly irrele vant in the executive sphere. After a brief historical orientation, this thesis discusses the impact of the presidencies of Abdal Bucaram (ele cted 1996, impeached 1997) and Jamil Mahuad (elected 1998, overthrown 2000) as important background for the 2002 election. The hypothesis is that in 2002, al ignment with traditional political parties diminished the support for candidates in t he presidential elections. This thesis analyzes the presidential candidates that participated in the 2002 campaign, and concludes that affiliating with a traditi onal political party was a liability for a presidential candidate in the 2002 elections.
1 CHAPTER ONE: LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction The recent democratization of Latin America has spread across the continent over the last two decades. For various reasons, including economic problems and a loss of legitimacy of governi ng bodies, virtually the entire region abandoned decades of authoritari an, military and di ctatorial rule and returned to a governmental system of r epresentative democracy. In a climate of economic collapse and ineffective bureaucracy, democracy provided hope for fundamental changes in Latin American gov ernments. These new democr atic institutions were frequently accompanied by a new econom ic program, dubbed ne oliberalism, which attempted to address deep ec onomic problems, including bloated bureaucracies and inefficient economic prac tices in the region. The combination of democracy and neoliberalism was supposed to make drastic changes in Latin America, leading to more open, repr esentative and responsive government, accompanied by a reinvigorat ed economy that provided pr osperity similar to that enjoyed by the United States and other firs t world countries. It was to be Latin Americas time to shine.
2 The experiment did not go as planned. After widespread optimism and initial enthusiasm for governmental and economic reforms, both economic and political systems have fallen far short of the promised result s for governmental and economic stability and prosperity. Neo liberal reforms failed to bring about significant changes in the quality of life fo r the majority of Latin Americans, and states lost important sources of rev enue due to privatization. As governments struggled to keep up with debt payments, austerity measures continued to cut social services and increase inequalities in Latin America. Country after country experienced economic crises. These unending economic problems have deeply affected Latin Americas perception and opi nion of democracy, as in 2004, 54.7% of Latin Americans intervie wed reported that they woul d be willing to accept an authoritarian government if that government c ould solve deep economic problems. (UNDP, 2004:31) Latin Americas elected executives have also not fulfilled expectations. Marred by corruption scandals and lack of capacity to address economic problems, these leaders have lost much legitimacy in the eyes of the populace. In multiple countries, politicians hav e become viewed as corrupt, unresponsive, self-interested men and women, little concerned with the c onditions of the majority representation of the populace. As internatio nal financial institutions obligated presidents to push through unpop ular and widely rejected austerity measures, presidents have become vul nerable to unconstitutional departures from office. The promises of dev elopment have not come through.
3 It is important to highlight signific ant accomplishments in establishing a viable democratic system in Latin Amer ica. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) emphasizes the general perception that Latin Americas long history of authoritarianism seems to have finally come to an end. Nearly the entire region has converted its political system into a democratic one, and elections are the accepted way to choose leaders. Yet, Unit ed Nations secretary general Kofi Annan asserts that elections ar ent isolated events, but a part of a larger process of democracy. (UNDP, 2004:44) The evolving democracy in Latin America has had a huge impact on the political, economic, social and cultural life of the region. Neve r before in history has a region with such pronounced pr oblems of poverty and inequality been completely organized under democratic regi mes. (UNDP 2004:36) In contrast to armed opposition, Latin Americans have begun to log their protest against the status quo inside the democratic system. In recent years, particularly in the last decade, Latin America has experienced a new wave of political and social movements. These social movements hav e challenged traditional elite rule in Latin America. Fighting for the inclusion of alienated groups of people, such as indigenous citizens, women, and citizens of African descent, social movements have frequently moved into the political sphere. 1 The populace is generally becoming much less tolerant of general Lat in American political characteristics, including corruption, ineffective ru le, and unresponsive and inefficient 1 For a more extended on the development of social movem ents across Latin America, please see Vandens two works.
4 government bureaucracies and program s. (Vanden, 2004:1 New political movements) According to Latinobarmetro, a respected public opinion poll, most Latin Americans continue to favor democ racy as a political model. (Shifter, 2003:2) Yet dismal economic performanc e has impacted the credibility and legitimacy of traditional polit icians. Elections continue to be seen as the most accepted way to select leaders. (Shifter, 2003:2) Politically, the populace has rebelled against existing institutions, parties and politicians by rejecting their candi dates in presidential and congressional elections. The United Nations Developm ent Programme recently released a report on the state of democracy in Latin America, highlighting the crisis of political parties as an agent of represent ation. This has resulted in a loss of confidence in political parties by the electorate, and affected their electoral choices. (UNDP, 2004:3) Using the power of the ballot, Latin Americans have often steered away from candidates ali gned with establish ed parties. A new group of leaders, dubbed outsiders or neopopulists by some, have worked to appeal to dissatisfied citizens, frustrat ed with the lack of economic development and opportunities in their countries. The plethora of new political and social movements has greatly changed the face of Latin American politics in recent years. In regards to presidential elections, t he role of political parties has evolved in many unexpected ways. Though political parties have rarely formed the cornerstone of a Latin American polit ical system, many Latin American
5 constitutions tried to legislate important functions for political parties when reconstructing the political system. These contemporary constitutions intended to create an essential role for political parti es, by casting them as critical links between the state and civil society. Yet, the historical reality of Lat in Americas personalism and populism impacted the construction of healthy and effective parties. Latin Americas leaders have historically arrived into o ffice based on their personal capacity to obtain and hold power, not due to institutions that hav e supported and assisted in their quest for power. Caudillos ruled Lat in America for dec ades in the 1800s, and populists quickly adapted their political message to create an attachment to an individual politician as opposed to an organi zation or institution. In the context of historically weak party systems in many Latin American countries, the democratic era has given the power to el ect leaders back to the public. As many parties have gradually lost legitimacy, the si tuation has arrived to a point where in some circumstances aligning with a traditi onal political party can be damaging for a presidential candidate. While political parties provide important legislative support and also critical constraints on executive candidates, voters have sometimes rejected traditional political par ty presidential candidates in a variety of party systems in Latin America. Th is trend has strengthened in recent times. Of late, several outsiders, unaligned with political parties, have been elected into
6 office on highly oppositional, personal campaigns. 2 The include Peruvian candidates Alberto Fujimori and Alej andro Toledo, Venezuelan Hugo Chvez, and Ecuadorian Lucio Gutirrez. Many of these new leaders enter the executive office with no experience in politics whatsoever. Democratic Systems The UNDP emphasizes an important conc ept of a full democracy, which includes social, economic, and cultural ri ghts. In addition, the UNDP asserts that politics is a critical component of democ racy. While contempor ary literature has focused on the characteristics of a democra cy in the context of a political regime, this has negated important co mplementary parts of a democracy. For this study, inside the electoral arena, a political defin ition is necessary. Yet this study fully supports the broader concept emphasized by the UNDP report on democracy, which states that a strictly politic al definition of democracy hinders the development of a concept of democracy wh ich actively limits the capacity of the state to respond to great inequalities in the region. As the government fails to provide social and civil rights, it lose s credibility among large sectors of the population. (UNDP, 2004:47) Dahl (1989) and ODonnell (1996) have cons tructed definitions of political democracy. Dahl establishes a formal defin ition of democracy, with the following attributes: elected officials, free and fair elections, inclusive suffrage, the right to 2 This thesis defines outsiders as, C andidates who have little or no political experience, campaign on opposition to established institutions, political parties and political elite, and highlight their absence of relationship to existing politi cal system.
7 run for office, freedom of expression, alternative information and associational autonomy. ODonnell adds the following attributes: elected officials (and some appointed persons, such as high cour t judges) should not be arbitrarily terminated before the end of their constitutionally mandated terms, elected officials should not be subjec t to severe constraints, vetoes, or exclusion from certain policy domains by other, nonelected actors, especially the armed forces, and there should be an uncontested territo ry that clearly defines the voting population. All of these characteristics of democracy highlight the importance of free and fair elections. Political Parties Political parties have formed an impor tant base for most democratic political systems. In parliam entary systems, political parti es play an essential role in the election of the prime minister, wh ich must come from a party with strong support in the legislature. In presidentia l systems, the execut ive and legislative branches are more independent of one another but political parties continue to form critical parts of the legislative system. Parties have the responsibility to propose or postulate candidates for the national executive post. General political party theory, especially in the past, comes from the United States and Europe. The characteri stics of these countries, including military subordination to civilian government s and a vital role for the legislature, form an assumed basis for their works.
8 Scholars concerned with the obvious differences between democratic theory and reality in Latin Am erica have struggled to rec oncile theory with reality. The fundamental differences in the Latin American reality made political party theory from Europe and the United States a weak base for understanding Latin American politics. Von Mettenheim and Ma lloy (1998) assert that western democratic theory neglects important realit ies of Latin American politics, and that theoretical applications based on Western reality cant be accurate for Latin America. Western theory bases its def inition on competitive elections or emphasizes ideal standards of citizen parti cipation. Yet, theorists fail to provide means or reflections on how to reach these standards. The political history of Lat in America varied widely from that of Europe. In the 1970s and 1980s, Latin American count ries began a rapid transition from military dictatorships and syst ems of bureaucratic authorit arianism to democracy. With the reintroduction of democracy in these countries, many countries focused on constructing a viable and effective representative democracy, less prone to coups and dictatorships. In constructi ng these new democracies, leaders used constitutions as one way to address fundamental grievances about lack of representation of different sectors of society in the political system. Latin Americas political culture rarely valued political parties as important components of a political system. Yet in Ecuador, leaders used the constitution to make political parties critical players in gove rnment. These architects tried to mandate changes in political cultur e, using constitutions.
9 One of Latin Americas most historic ally dominant institutions in politics has been the military, wh ich has greatly affe cted the development and construction of government. (Lieuwen, 1961, Johnson, 1964). Samuel Huntington made an important theor etical contribution to the understanding of the Latin American power structure. (Huntington,1968:196) He established the idea of a praetorian system. In this system, social forces confront each other nakedly; neither political institutions, nor corps of professional leader s are recognized or accepted as the legitimate intermedi aries to moderate group conflict. While Huntington developed this in the context of military intervention in politics, this applies to societies that have weak in stitutional systems. Other scholars have focused on the changing role of the military in politics since the reintroduction of democracy in Latin America. (Millett and Cold-Biss, 1996, Loveman and Daives, 1997). Several theorists began to look at t he construction of parties in Latin America. Many classified party systems based on the number of political parties, ranging from two-party systems to multi party systems. Two im portant theorists took other avenues in identifying and cl assifying party systems which was not strictly based on numbers of political parti es. They argued that the significance of the party system was the role the par ties played in government. Scholars have warned against the assumption that politic al party systems are going to play an important role in the western sense in the Latin American context. (McDonald and Ruhl, 1989). Yet, theory dictates that a democratic system has several
10 important key institutions t hat serve specific roles. Mainwaring and Scully claim that a strong, institutiona lized party system is a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for consolidating democracy and gov erning effectively. (Hartlyn, 1996) Political parties are defined as any po litical group that presents candidates in elections, and is capable of placing through elections, candidates for public office. A party system is seen as a set of patterned interactions in competitions among parties. (Mainwaring and Scully, 1995). Ronald MacDonald (1989) attempted to measure the significance of parties by the functions they perform in electoral processes and government, including political recruitment, politic al communication, social control and government organizing and policymaking. He emphasized the importance of personalism and the military in Latin American history, in cluding the reality that private sector groups generally have work ed directly with governments instead of working through political parties. In classi fying different types of Latin American party systems, he looked at the role of par ties in society. He found that the significance of party systems is closely re lated to the subordinat ion of the military to civilian authority. He highlighted the characteristics of Lat in American parties, including elitism, fractionalism, pers onalism, organizational weaknesses, and heterogeneous mass support. (1989:7-8) In addition, he asserted that it is through elections that political legitima cy comes. By winning elections and having the freedom to participate in them, parti es and democracy gain their legitimacy. (1989:6)
11 Mainwaring and Scully (1995) provided a landmark book on party systems in Latin America, concerned with the study of the inst itutionalization of party systems. They assert that the institutionalization of an effective party system forms a fundamental base for a successf ul democratic system. They emphasize the importance of parties, due to the domi nation of electoral politics and that candidates almost always run through party labels. According to the authors, parties shape the nature of political co mpetition and provide symbols that orient the electorate and political elites. (M ainwaring and Scully, 1995:4). Further, to institutionalize a system, f our conditions must occur: regularity of party competition (low electoral volatility), stab ility of parties roots in society, legitimacy accorded to parties by elections, and the existence of solid party organizations independent of individ ual leaders. (Mainw aring and Scully, 1995:2) Party functions include: channeli ng and expressing interests of the electorate, giving the electorate a shortcut to what t he candidate will stand for, because of ideological base, helping groups elabor ate their interests while allowing governments to govern, and establishing legitimacy Mainwaring and Scully address the hi storical reality of personalism and populism in Latin America. They assert that the lack of solid parties creates great space for populists, who arent constrained by parties and dont attempt to create institutions. (1995:22). When party syst ems arent strong, public opinion becomes an important tool of electabilit y, which leads to campaigning on a campaign of popular, though not realistic ideas. Weak party systems have a
12 tendency to punish the parties of the incu mbents, due to projected promises that later arent fulfilled. (1995:25-26).In additi on, once a president comes to power, a weak party system hinders effective governi ng due to the inability of solid parties to construct coalitions. Elections form the base of legitimacy in the democratic system. (MacDonald, 1989, Mainwaring and Sc ully, 1995). Party systems form an important component of establishing legitima te government. In terms of executive and legislative elections, parties play a vi tal role. In an institutionalized party system, the party chooses the candidates for the executive and the legislature. The party has a base in society, and a general ideological viewpoint. The electorate can infer certain assumpti ons about the candidates due to their political party affiliation. Once a candidat e becomes the president, he or she is able to work with their party and other parties in the legislature to enact effective legislation. In times of trouble, the par ty becomes a system of support for the executive. Few Latin American countries func tion like this. Yet, the theoretical importance of parties continues to form a fundamental base of the establishment of an effective and self-sustaining democra tic system in Latin America. This thesis addresses the connection of party a ffiliations and electability among one of Latin Americas least stable and least in stitutionalized party systems, that of Ecuador.
13 Mainwaring (2001) makes four important points as to the consequences of a weakly institutionalized party system. Firstly, because of the lack of the electorates connection with the party system, people vote for personalities, which make individuals instead of institut ions the main political power players. Secondly, weak party systems impede acco untability. Thirdly, the weak party system impacts the represent ation of popular interests. Finally, the candidate lacks a system of political support to sustain him and support governmental policies once in office. While McDonald and Ruhl organize di fferent party systems in Latin America based on citizens attitudes to wards parties (dominant, primary, secondary, or marginal), Mainwaring and Scully choose levels of institutionalization as the way to categorize different party systems (institutionalized party systems, hegemoni c party systems in transition, and inchoate party systems). These are the following groupings, according to both McDonald and Ruhl (1989) and Mainwari ng and Scully (1995). This forms an important historical contex t for important changes in political party structures across the continent. Mainwaring and Scully, 1995 Institutionalized Venezuela, Costa Rica, Ch ile, Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina Hegemonic -Mexico, Paraguay Inchoate -Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador
14 McDonald and Ruhl, 1989 Dominant -Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico Primary -Argentina, Brazil, Chil e, Uruguay, Cuba, Nicaragua Secondary -Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador, Hond uras, Guatemala, and Bolivia Marginal -Paraguay, Panama, Haiti In addition, Catherine Conaghan defi nes Ecuador as an extreme multiparty system (1995:434) which emphasizes the prevalence of a multitude of different political parties.3 The weakness in this extrem e multi party system is that few, if any, parties have the capacity to become ideologically based, because of the frequent reorganization, appearances, and disappearances of parties. In addition, this has created clashes bet ween the legislative and executive branches, due to the difficulty of coalit ion building in Ecuador. Finally, this configuration impedes the possi bility that party systems can serve as a shortcut for the electorate to know what a party label means. In many different Latin American c ountries, political parties have become increasingly notorious for their perceived corruption and lack of capacity to address important societal, economic and political problem s. In a recent survey, 59% of political leaders interviewed stated that political parties are failing to fulfill their necessary role, including the critic al one of representati on (UNDP, 2004). In addition, when asked if governments provi de what they promis e, only 2.3% of 3 Conaghan defines an extreme multiparty system as, A party system that revolves around competition among at least five or more parties. Mainwaring and Scully, 1995:434.
15 Latin Americans said yes. When asked wh y politicians dont complete promises, 64.3% said because politicians lie to win elections. (UNDP, p. 49 of report) Populism, Neopopulism, and Personalism Latin America has always had distinct pa tterns in leadership style, ranging from military dictator s, to caudillos, to parliamentar ians, to socialists. (Conniff, 1999:2) .Scholars have argued that in Latin America, power is seen in more personal terms, not in im personal institutionalized forms. (Angell, 1968:362, Vanden and Provost, 2003). Since the 1930s, Ecuador has fo rmed an interesting (if somewhat understated) case study of the phenomenon that is refe rred to as populism. To define populism in a single sentence is a difficult task, as debate rages over whether populism is a historical p henomenon, an ideology, or a political movement. Michael Conniffs general definition (Conniff 2000: 4-6) highlights many characteristics of populists, including a new style of campaigning that held voter loyalty, a focus on nationalism and cult ural pride, promises of a better life, and the ability to court followers from all different economic classes. These populists also exhibited charisma, whic h Conniff defines as special personal qualities and talents that, in the eyes of their followers, empowered them to defend the interests of the masses and uphold national dignity. (Conniff 1999:4) A main problem in developing an adequate definition of populism is the influence of each countrys particular po litical development on their populist experience. In larger Latin American c ountries, such as Ar gentina and Brazil,
16 populisms main support came from the wo rking class created by the process of industrialization. In other cases, populism flourished in unindustrialized countries, and the leader made no attempts to creat e a party system, as is the Ecuadorian case. The history of populism in Latin America has greatly impacted the construction of political party systems. In countries where populists focused on building political parties, these parties played a large role in the political development of the country One particular assessment of the power of Latin American populist has been that they were particularly successful at doing four things: gaining high office holding onto power, maintaining their following, and renewing their career s. (Conniff, 1999:1) New theoretical work on the prev alence of candidates with populist campaigning styles but di fferent economic priorities has formed a branch of leaders, dubbed neopopulists. Demmers Fernbandez Jilberto, Hogenboom. (2001), address the transformation of Lat in American populism. Both classical and neoliberal populism is associated with significant economic changes. While the staying power of classical populists di rectly related to the states capacity to meet peoples demands, neoliberalism has changed the capacity of the state to meet peoples material needs. Popu lism depended on a strong state and on income to satisfy all elite groups who would fight for powe r. In addition, government remained accepted if they c ontinued to spend large sums of money on social services and program. As neoli beralism removed the state capacity to
17 financially meet the dem ands of large sectors of society (spending became restricted and regulated), many thought populism would cease to exist. With strictly controlled finances, populists couldnt have the financial support to succeed in office. With the sole exception of 20th century Mexico and the staying power of the PRI, Latin American politics has generally centered on personalities as opposed to institutions. Because of the dem ocratic trend, politicians still need widespread mass support to win elections, a situation bureaucratic authoritarian regimes didnt encounter. Due to the return to democracy, large masses of politically uncommitted people are being incorporated into the system. Neopopulists appeal to the informal sector and the urban poor, and have integrated many strategies of populism (including organization around charisma, dedication to the masses and personalism). Yet while traditional populists advocated an active state, neopopulists hav e shifted economic policy. Rightest neopopulists have endorsed strict economic austerity once in office, regardless of campaign promises. Both neoliber al reforms and neopopulists support the concept of hierarchical decision making, as a central leader makes decisions for a whole group of people. Delegative Democracy Guillermo ODonnell has addressed the shortcomings of democratic theory in regards to the third wave of democratization. (ODonnell, 1994, 1996, 1998.) He claims that general democr atic theory has too many unexamined
18 assumptions due to the third wave of in stitutionalization o ccurring in a reality where the division between economica lly developed countries and the developing world continues to widen. Scholars searched for more adequate theories of democracy that addressed the unique situation of democratization in Latin America which includes the important distincti on of an overwhelming debt crisis. In other waves of democratization, countries didnt face such extreme financial pressures from the outside worl d. As many Latin American countries scrambled to create a democratic system while meeting international financial obligations, Latin Americas new elect ed presidents needed vast power to push through radical, fast paced changes in t he economic and political structures of the country. ODonnells theory of delegative democracy (ODonnell, 1994) attempted to address the important hist orical context of strong authoritarian institutions and how those interact wit h rapid democratization. ODonnells delegative democracy establis hed a distinct category of democracy, different from representative democra cy. The electorate voted for the president. The president saw this positive support during t he election as trust to rule the country as he sees fit. He felt no strong restri ctions by campaign promises and didnt have a strong political party system c onstraining him. Nor did he/she have a strong party organization to sustain hi m/her or his/her government. This construction becomes most obvious with c ountries such as Argentina and Brazil that have strong traditions of authoritarian presidents ruli ng without either vertical or horizontal constraints.
19 Vertical accountability addresses the c apacity of citizens to punish or reward incumbents by voting for or against them, or the candidates they endorse, in the next elections. (ODonnell, 1999:29) ODonnell points to the weakness of vertical accountability in the fact that el ections are only present every few years. Horizontal accountability is the ability of government incumbent s who are part of the state apparatus to provide c hecks on each other. (ODonnell, 1999) Outsiders and Case Studies Further, the last decade in Latin America has seen a new group of leaders, often referred to as outsiders. The term was coined in the context of Alberto Fujimoris election in Peru in the early 1990s. Fujimori, a virtually unknown Peruvian of Japanese descent, brought a strong message to Perus people. He used his lack of experience in the political system as a key positive factor in his election. Due to widespread disapproval of existing political parties, Fujimori was able to win the elections He campaigned with a strong oppositional message to the current political and econo mic situation, and highlighted his lack of association with established po liticians. He emphasized peoples dissatisfaction with and alienation from the system and had a populist platform. Once elected into office, Fujimori slowly consolidated power in both the governmental and economic sphere. He enact ed strong neoliberal reforms (often by decree), defeated a major terror ist guerrilla threat, and retained enough popularity to be reelected. Fujimori even managed to close down congress and restructure the government, and win the concurrent election. Fujimoris rejection
20 of traditional political parties and his campaign as an outsider, unaligned political player brought him from the status of an unknown to the head of the nation. In the last five years, certain democratic systems have changed radically. Some of these changes have come from historically stable party systems. In Mexico, the PRI lost their fi rst presidential election in ov er 70 years in 20002. In 1998, former coup leader Hugo Chvezs election prompted a new constitution and a new judicial system in Venezuela. His campaign as an active opponent to the corrupt, established politicians and parties appealed to wide sectors of Venezuelan society, and the armed coup he led against a democratically elected government in 1992 didnt impact him negatively at the polls. Chvez founded and created his personal political party, to provide him with a banner under which to run and to place allies in other branches of government. This has unquestionably altered the political stru cture of Venezuela, and highlighted the disillusionment of the el ectorate with traditional pol itical parties and their presidential candidates. Finally, the 2002 elections brought another former coup leader to the presidency in Latin America. In Ecuador, Colonel Lucio Gutirrezs surprising popularity in the 2002 campaign led him to victory in the second round of the 2002 elections. A formerly unknown military man, Gutirrez grabbed the spotlight with his role in the 2000 ous ter of then President Jamil Mahuad and his participation in a short lived junta.
21 In all of these case studies, one im portant political institution is conspicuously absent: traditional polit ical parties. Their candidates are performing poorly in countries that have historically had institutionalized, hegemonic, and inchoate party systems. The electoral choices in Latin American indicate a clear trend away from a tradi tional political party system, and exhibit the electorates desire for a new kind of lead er, if not a party or movement. At this time of examination and reflection on the process of democracy in the context of economic crisis, political parties appear to be weakening in multiple countries. Yet scholars have traditionally insisted that political parties play a vital role in any functioning democratic system. In addition, political parties conti nue to play an important role in congressional elections, negatively impacting governability. Due to the strong emphasis on personalism, outsider candi dates often have to build difficult coalitions in the legislature to pass legi slation. Traditional par ties are represented in congress, outsiders continue to win presidential elections, and presidents receive little support in congress or in the larger political system. Stable democracies usually have an effective party system which plays a vital role in government. In government s where outsider candidates have won, these same countries often eventually su ffer from inevitable problems with the democratic system. Both Venezuela and Peru have faced economic and political unrest. After Fujimori won corrupt and fraud ulent elections in 2002, the public protest toward him and his measures forced him out of office and into exile in
22 Japan. Startling revelations about the wi despread corruption in his government and the undemocratic practices of his adm inistration came out. Chvez, after rewriting the constitution with widespr ead support, was challenged by a coup in April 2002. Though Chvez reclaimed his presidency, millions of Venezuelans have voiced their support for a presidential recall, a clause included in his new constitution. Both countries have suffe red from constitutional crises. As many authors have underscored, many Latin American countries have never had an effective party system that fulf ills its role within the political system. Yet, authors seem to agree that those ro les are still very important and other groups attempt to fill them, including per sonalist presidents, former coup leaders and new political movements. If Latin Am erican voters continue to steer away from party representatives, one wonders how this will change the face of Latin American democracy. It is important to note that in 1989 and 1995, Ecuadors party system was weak by any of the various measures set forth by different sc holars. (MacDonald, 1989:10, Mainwaring and Scully, 1995:30) Generally, Ecuador was grouped with other Andean republics such as Peru and Bolivia, which both have similar histories of highly ineffective party system s. Though it is not t he intent of this work to discuss or contest these groupings they suggest that Ecuador has a long history of weak and uninstit utionalized parties. This study uses information such as this to build the important background for the reflections on the political situation in 2002.
23 The failure of administrations backed by traditional political parties in the 1980s has caused an irreparable a lienation of political part ies from the electorate in presidential elections. Over the last decade, the electorate has become mobilized in opposition to unending economic crises. The lack of effective political parties, leaders, or other coherent political institutions capable of addressing this problem has created a s pace for personalist leadership and new, highly politicized social move ments. Ironically, while el ecting personalist leaders, many of the same citizens quickly call fo r their ouster after the candidates havent met the expectations they set for themse lves. This study suggests the elections in 2002 provide concrete evidence that t he populace is alienated from political parties at a historically high leve l. The 2002 elections placed an outsider candidate with no legislative support and no party system support in office. Subsequent events further suggest that t he new presidents support will decline and that he and his government may soon suffer a marked decline in their legitimacy. Ecuadorian Literature Ecuador has received little attention in both qualitativ e and quantitative studies of political culture and values Few quantitative studies on public opinion in Ecuador exist. The most informational view of contemporary public opinion in Ecuador came out in a joint study by t he University of Pittusburg and Cedatos Ecuador in 2002 (Seligson, 2002). This study addressed perceptions of democracy in Ecuador, including support fo r democracy, antidemocratic values,
24 local government and democracy, civil rights, corruption and democracy, and participation in civil society. All of t hese public opinion studies address feelings after democratic transition. The joint study by the University of Pittsburg and Cedatos Ecuador identifies two main categorie s of qualitative studies abo ut political culture in Ecuador. The first category focuses on t he contradictions between political development (in embracing systems such as the democratic one) and the continual informalization of political styles and discourses. This shows that while the political system has fundamentally changed, rhetoric and campaign style continue to focus more on personality as opposed to institutions. As a prime example of this phenomenon, the study of Jos Mara Velasco Ibarra dominates the study of populism. The second tract focuses on ethnic diversity and democracy, due to the presence of st rongly organized indigenous groups. Thematic studies tend to address iss ues of identity, consensus, equality and inequality, governability, democracy, citizenship and populism. Nearly all works on Ecuadorian politics hi ghlight the endemic instability of Ecuadors political system, both before and during the democratic era. This question has interested a number of scholar s. (Blanksten, 1964, Martz, 1972, Fitch, 1977 Lucero, 2002, Gerlach, 2003, Walsh, 2001.) Research after the democratic era has mainly addressed the transition and consolidation of Ecuadors system of democracy. In 1979, Ecuador became the first dictatorship in Latin America to transition to a democratic system of government, with the
25 support of the military and prominent civ ilian leaders. Corkhill and Cubitt (1988) Blanksten (1964) and Fitch (1977) addressed t he militarys role in Ecuador since its initial intervention in civilian politics in 1925. George Blanksten (1964) develops the c oncept that historically, Ecuadors conquerors imposed a power system based on the divine right of rule and hierarchical, unquestionable authority. Neither the Inca empire nor the Spanish empire valued or encouraged democracy. Hi s assessment of caudillos integrates the idea of caudillos repres enting the history of m onarchy in Ecuador, yet disguised in republican dress. This means that many of the monarchical values became a part of Latin American politics and Latin American presidencies. This analysis of Ecuadors politic al characteristics, far before the reintroduction of democracy in Ecuador, highlights the importa nce of a singular figure (a president, dictator or caudillo ) having enormous power and influence. Of the academics who have chosen to focus on Ecuador, they have almost exclusively covered the 20th century. John Mart z (1972, 1987), David Schmidt (1988), and Anita Issacs (1993) addressed the decade of the 1980s, including the transition from military rule to representative democracy. Catherine Conaghan (1988, 1995) publis hed insightful works about both Ecuadors industrialists and the political party syst em. As all of these scholars present explanations of modern trends in Ecuadors political realit y, the historical impact of political parties and their successe s and failures in the executive sphere contributes to a more complete understandi ng of the Ecuadorian political picture.
26 A small group of Ecuadorian social scientists have made important, nuanced contributions to the study of their country. Distinguished Ecuadorian scholars such as Osvaldo Hurtado ( 1980) and Augustn Cueva (1982) have addressed questions of power and dominati on in the Ecuadorian political system. Hurtados work (1980) provided a helpful a nalytical analysis of the historical construction of power in Ecuador, and firs t hand knowledge of the push to return to democracy. Cueva focused more on r egional politics and the role Ecuadorian populists played in the 1930s-1980s. Simn Pachano, in his book Democracia sin Sociedad (1996) focuses on contemporary democratic Ecuador. In his discussion based on governmental documents, he correctly identifies the consti tutional tradition of centralism. He further states that Ecuadorian governm ental structures have not been receptive to acknowledging regional differences and the reality of political parties and problems of representations. Similarl y, Rafael Quintero (1997) and Amparo Mndenez-Carrin (1986) have written extens ively on Jos Mara Velasco Ibarra and his role in bringing populism to Ecuador. Ximena Sosa-Buchholz, a historian, and Carlos de la Torre, a sociologist, both natives of Ecuador teaching at Am erican universities, have addressed populism in Ecuador. (Sosa Buchholz, 1999, de la Torre, 1997, 2000). De la Torre has focuses much of his studies on Abdal Bucaram and the impact of his discourse on Ecuadorian politics. His work emphasizes the impact of discourse
27 and the popularity of populist messages. Sosa Bucholz, a historian, focuses on the historical reality of populism. In addition, the development of popul ist political parties impacted the national political scene. (Guerrero Burgos, 1994). Pyne (1977) wrote a fascinating article about Ecuador highlighting the realisti c difficulties of Ecuadors populist president ruling in a system wit h no party support, and the impact of his resistance towards the development of a political party. While populists have always enjoyed wide levels of support in the coastal provinces, they receive minimal support in the highlands, and their presidencies have often been extremely difficult.4 Huratdo identified personalism as the dominant characteristic of Ecuadorian politics in 1980, and it continues to be so through the present day. Conaghan documented the oppos itional relationship bet ween the executive and the legislature (Conaghan, 1995. ). This is before the electoral success of outsider candidates. Political instability continues, as no Ecuadorian president has managed to finish his constitutionally elec ted term since the presidential elections in 1992. In addition, Jorge Len Trujillo (2003) examines the contribution of a regionalized political system and how that has affected contemporary Ecuadorian political, economic and social crises. He focuses on regionalism, an important 4 Abdal Bucaram, elected in 1996, exhibits many populist characteristics salient in Guayaquil. The 1996 first round presidential election resulted in the victory of two candi dates from Guayaquil, making the second round a guaranteed victory for one of them. To see more information about A bdal Bucaram and his tumultuous presidency, which lasted six months before congress declared him mentally unfit for office, please see Baez et al, de la Torre and Hoy.
28 source of division in Ecuador. While t he government attempted to establish hegemonic control and develop the state as a legitimate governing body, the coast (particularly the port city of Guayaqui l) continues to view the state as an instrument to promote and ex pand trade with other nations. In terms of contemporary democracy, researchers focusing on party systems agree that Ecuador is one of t he most consistently unstable party systems (Coppege, 2003 Scully and Mainwaring, 1995, MacDonald, 1989) and has an unconsolidated and uninstitutionalized democracy. (Power, 2003). They point to the chronic ineffectiveness of the party system in Ecuador as a main cause of instability. (Conaghan, 1995). Ecuador does not command much attent ion in literature on contemporary Latin American political parties. Ca therine Conaghans ar ticle on Ecuadorian political parties entitled Politicians Agai nst Parties: Discord and Disconnection in Ecuadors Party System, published in Mainwaring and Scullys Building Democratic Institutions: Part y Systems in Latin America , (1995) provided the most complete analysis of Ecuadors democ ratic experience with parties to date. Her historical construction, focus on conflict between the legislative and executive branches, and understanding of t he intricacies of the Ecuadorian case make this article of prime importance fo r those interested in Ecuadorian political parties. Conaghan concludes there are thr ee main characteristics of Ecuadorian party systems: an extreme multi-party syst em, no popular /lasting attachment to
29 particular political parties, and the marginalization of parties in policy making process-especially in economic decision making. The most complete guide to Ecuador ian political parties, written by Freidenberg and Alcntra (2001), offers an in depth view of all dominant Ecuadorian political parties. The authors analysis of internal party structures, their successes in congress and their ideo logical positions develops a complete picture of historically a nd currently significant Ecuadorian political parties. The authors include a chapter on Pachakuitk, an indigenous political movement that supported Gutirrez in the 2002 elections. The authors address the role of personalistic leaders in each individual party the internal stru cture of the party, and the ideological development of each par ty. In addition, vo ting records and opinion questions clarify political party beliefs. Freidenberg and Alcntras study emphas izes the development of political parties. It also addresses the changes that occurred in the system due to legal changes. From 1979-1994, only political par ty candidates could compete in elections. After 1994, referendum approved by the electorate allowed the candidacy of citizens who were non-affiliated with political parties. While political parties still hold an enormous weight in the Ecuadorian political system, Freidenberg and Alcntra highlight importance changes due to these laws. Andres Meja Acosta (2002) addresses t he difficult attempts at coalition building in the Ecuadorian congress. After a historical orientation, he analyzes the reality facing Ecuadorian executives who come into power with minimal
30 support in the legislature. The president must immediately build coalitions among multiple parties in order for Congress to enact legislation. As many of these presidents have come into power with a strong message of opposition to political institutions, this creates an immediat e need for presidents to work with those same institutions that t hey claim harm the country. Continual constitutional reforms attempted to address problems by creating ties between presidential c andidates and parties, yet changes have failed to prevent the election of president s with little or no political party support. This, in turn, hinders executive-legislativ e relationships. After the new constitution came into effect in 1998, the citizens of Ecuador have overwhelmingly supported the unconstitutional dismissal of two fair ly elected presidents who ultimately experienced high levels of unpopularit y. The elections, presidencies and dismissals of these presidents will be explored in Chapter Four. The presidential and congressional elec tions in October and November of 2002 produced peculiar results. Ex-Colonel Lu cio Gutirrez, military leader of the coup detat that ousted President Jamil Mahuad from office in January 2000, won the presidential elections. He campaign ed on frustration wit h corrupt Ecuadorian politicians and bankers, vowing to address t he flight of corrupt bankers to other countries and found his main support in the indigenous popul ation of Ecuador. His election, based on his opposition to t he establishment, traditional political parties, and unpopular neoliberal reforms, proved successful. Yet, the same
31 electorate strongly supported traditional political parties in the legislative elections. Neither parties, personalities, nor institutions have managed to consolidate power in the Ecuadorian polit ical scene. As the electorate has watched traditional political party politicians make promises they dont keep while the countrys economic situation conti nues to worsen, the candidates and their parties have lost legitimacy and support. T he UNDP report serves as important evidence that Ecuador is a part of a la rger alienation from politicians and traditional political parties in Latin Am erica as a whole. In Ecuador, outsider politicians have become attractive to the Ecuadorian electorate, and over the last decade, have increasingly garnished more of the vote. In 2002, the Ecuadorian population voted two outsiders without political experience into the second round of the presidential elections. This occasi on provides the opportunity to test the hypothesis that party affilia tion can damage presidential electoral opportunities in Ecuador.
32 CHAPTER TWO RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY Case Study Design The UNDP argues that economic and social rights are important components of a successful and self-sustaining democracy. This study acknowledges and encourages a concept of democracy that includes crucial attention towards social, societal and economic problems. The paper focuses exclusively on a critical part of a democr atic system, elections and the electoral process in Ecuador. It addresses how political institutions, polit ical organizations and candidates interact in the electoral pr ocess. Specifically, it looks at the performance of traditional political party candidates and outsider candidates in Ecuadorian presidential elections from 1979-2002.5 Free, clean and fair elections are one of the fundamental components of any democracy. (UNDP, 55). Elections form the legal way for citizens to choose their leaders. Elections also give citiz ens a tool to remove and replace leaders when the leaders arent adequately representing those they serve. In this system, the people are the source and ju stification for the authority of the state to govern. (UNDP, 56) The importance of studying el ections comes from elections serving as the legitimate way for citizens to choose their leaders. When leaders win 5 For more information on the larger picture of democracy including the discussion of economic and social components of democracy, please see the UNDP report on Democr acy in Latin America, published in April 2004.
33 elections freely and fairly, this gives them legitimacy in the eyes of the populace. This study looks at the performance of different candidates, and analyzes general trust in parties or politicians, as measured by parties respective performances in elections. In establishing a research design, th is study uses a quasi experimental method based on the 2002 Ecuadorian president ial elections. There is no control over the application of the independent variable, nor is it possible to form control and experimental groups. This work looks at Ecuadorian political history, the construction of a democratic system, and the gradual decline of political parties capacity to win presidential elections a fter the constitutional development of a party system. This work examines the manifestati on of disillusionment with the political system, and how that disillusi onment is expressed in terms of candidate choice. The hypothesis is that a lignment with traditional polit ical parties in the 2002 election damages a presidential candida te in Ecuador. There are a few main reasons for this phenomenon. Firstly, Ecuador has a history of weak and highly ineffective political parties through the present day. Secondly, increased voter alienation due to continual political and economic diffi culties (particularly the 1997 and 2000 crises) has further distanced the populace from political parties. Finally, Ecuadorian political culture has revolved around personalist and populist presidents. The electorate has supported t hese individuals, instead of providing more widespread support to specific parties or political instit utions. Candidates
34 unaligned with traditional pol itics, dubbed outsiders, have found favorable situations for messages of opposition to the political system. These are the independent variables studied in the paper. The dependent variable is the performance of traditional and outsider candi dates in presidential elections. In addition, appeals to alienated citizens based on a personal campaign have increased and proven successful in Ecuadori an elections. Parties continue to be increasingly less relevant in presidential campaigns. Establishing definitions is an impor tant part of any research design. Traditional political parties consist of t he political parties that have been present in Ecuador for at least 15 years, we re developed by a group of people (as opposed to a single dominant leader), hav e evident ideologies, have made an effort to develop roots in society, have an internal organization which is not based solely on a single personality, and hav e held the office of the presidency once during the democratic era from 1979 through the present day. These parties also are competitive in the l egislative elections, and have had strong voting blocks in the legislature. They include the Izquierda Democrtica (ID ), Partido Socialcristiano (PSC), and the Democrcia Popular (DP). In contrast, a personalist parties were created by a specif ic individual, usually for the exclusive purpose of supporting his own election. T hese parties have not developed an ideological base and have not attempted to develop long lasting roots in society. The founder of the party (o r current party boss) ma kes all major decisions relating to party candidates. Most hav e a strong rhetoric of opposition to
35 traditional parties. These parties include the Partido Roldsista Ecuatoriana (PRE), Concentracin de Fuerzas Populares (CFP), Partido Sociedad Patritica (PSP), and the Partido Renovador Institucional Accin Nacional (PRIAN). This research design has several advantages as the study addresses issues of outsiders in Latin America s highest elected office. Outsiders are defined as candidates who have little or no political experience, base their campaign around opposition to established institutions, political parties and political elite, and highlight the absence of their rela tionship to the existing political system. A case study design permits a realistic way to test the hypothesis and address the research questions relating to Ecuadorian democracy. The case study design proves useful due to the characteristics of this study. This design allows for an in depth qualitative study of a specific political anomaly. The inductive nature of this study allows for the intersection of a wider trend towards outsider politicians in Latin America while taking into consideration the uni que nature of Ecuadors political history. Robert Yin notes that a case st udy, investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real life contex t, when the boundaries between the phenomenon and the context are not clearly evident, and when there are multiple sources of evidence being used. (Reynol ds et al. 2001:143) The concern with establishing a link between the independent and dependent variables in the 2002 elections contributes to the wider literatur e on outsiders in Latin American politics and the evolving face of Latin American democracy.
36 The study begins by briefly addressi ng important background trends of Ecuadors presidential histor y. It establishes the constant dominance of personalities over institutions (which coul d be civil, military or governmental). In addition, it highlights how the legacy of charisma has impacted Ecuadors contemporary democracy with its foundations in a political party system. The thesis traces the absence of any solid development of effective political institutions or political parties. This re sulted in the creation of a political system based on individual leaders, who becam e the prominent component of government. Political parties failed to provide adequate r epresentation and advocacy of the electorates needs and desires as individual leaders made parties subordinate. The leader worked to maintain loyalty based on his personal connection to the electorate, as opposed to developing a political party. The leader, not political parties, began to be view ed as the ideal repr esentative of the public will. With Ecuadors redemocratization in 1979, the architects of modern Ecuadorian democracy used the constitu tion to address Ecuadors lack of effective political institutions. The 1979 constitution attempted to create a functional political party system for many reasons, one of which was to control and eliminate populism. The weakness of pol itical parties and the tradition of populism were already a present, active component of Ecuadorian political culture, and those trends became int egrated in the democratic system.
37 The historical analysis of elections since 1979, emphasizing campaigns, politicians, and how presidencies affected political parties forms an important construction of contemporary political reality in Ecuador. While the Ecuadorian population initially elected presidential cand idates from the traditional parties, the inability of traditional parties to ad dress economic problems undermined their legitimacy and led the electorate towa rds more personalist politicians. The alienation from tradit ional political party candidates has not occurred overnight. The constitution of 1979 es tablished a modern democratic system based on political parties. Initially, the populace elected presidents from traditional political parties, but lost their trust in parties after repeated failures to effectively address economic problems. T he political and economic situation in Ecuador has changed drastically since 1979. After initial enthusiasm with the redemocratization of Ecuador, political parties have become less effective and less popular in presidential elections, voter alienation has increased, and candidates with populist and outsider messages have become more common. This becomes evident due to Ecuadors two distinct phases of political party competition. The first phase was fr om 1979-1992, where traditional political parties competed in and won presidential elections. In 1992, the first outsider president came into office after public ly breaking from hi s political party and running as an independent minded politician, emphasizing the negative connotations of political party affiliati on. Outsider candidates began regularly passing into the second round of the el ections. Finally, outsiders began winning
38 elections, as the electorate preferred these unaligned candidates to those linked to traditional political parties. As strikes and protests have become a more common form of expression of opposition against incumbent president s, discontent with the current system continues to be on the rise. In addi tion, Ecuadors citizen approved a new constitution in 1998 that allowed for unalig ned political candidates to compete in presidential elections. The lack of political party affiliation has become a central theme in election rhetoric, as candidat es have worked to distance themselves from the traditiona l political system. Observation and document analysis play important roles in the research design. Both methods of res earch have important advantages and disadvantages, but when used together, they form a more complete picture of Ecuadorian democracy. Field Experience The authors presence during important times of economic and political crisis (particularly the 1999 economic cr isis, which ended in dollarization and the termination of Mahuads presidency in 2000) has allowed this study to integrate an important on-site underst anding of Ecuadorian politics. In addition, the author was present in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from May through November of 2002, during the 2002 presidential campaign season. The authors arrival in Ecuador in May coincided with various announc ements about potential pres idential candidates, and she observed both the first round el ections (October 20, 2002) and the
39 second round runoff elections (November 25, 2002). This has given her important insight and valuable direct experience in Ecuador, by talking with Ecuadorians about their political system reading national newspapers daily, watching political television shows, and list ening to political radio shows. This has provided a unique und erstanding of the importance (o r lack of importance) of political parties, and gauging popular opinion of the political system and democracys strengths and weaknesses in Ecuador. Particularly, the author observed a lack of any strong affection fo r a political party and a low capacity to identify between potential programs and i deologies of presi dential candidates. The utter failure of political parties to i ndicate ideological viewpoints, or attract a dedicated following was readily observable in the media, in general conversation, and in campaign strategies. This, in turn, was juxtaposed with a genuine frustration bred by constant economic pr oblems. The results of the election showed a strong endorsement of neophyte, outsider politicians. This Ecuadorian election placed non-traditional candidates wit h no political experience in office. These candidates held new and unique ideologies, ideas and rhetoric. When offered a choice between a traditional po litical party candidate and an outsider candidate, voters rejected t he political party candidates. A main reason for this was voter perception that political par ties had opportunities in office and had failed to solve economic problems.
40 Document Analysis Document analysis is the most preval ent form of data collection. In an age of internet access, researchers can obt ain documents from many places across the world. It is non-reactive, and unobtrusive. Document analysis also has several drawbacks. Language and translation can present problems. In addition, selective survival can create a problem. Documents can be incomplete or contain inaccurate data. Yet document analysis is an important, cost efficient strategy to gain information about Ecuadors electoral history. Primary, untranslated documents form an important part of this research. These documents include current and pr evious constitutions, election observation reports, election results, newspaper articles, magazine articles, interviews, and primary documents fr om prominent Ecuadorian political scientists. Historical development The study begins with a focus on t he lack of development of effective political parties and political instit utions. Understanding the democratic experience with the party system forms a crucial background for the events of the last decade. Since 1979, the Ecuadorian pop ulation has slowly but intentionally shifted their support for presidential candidates associated with preexisting political parties to candidates without party affiliation who might best be described as personalist candidates. Explor ing and highlighting this transition forms an important part of the histor ical background. This study relies on
41 documented campaign strategies, platfo rms, and analysis from scholars and experts in Ecuadorian politics, in additi ons to election results to analyze the change in support for particularly parties. An important shift in presidential elec tions took place after 1992, with the victory of Sixto Durn Balln in that year. His campaign formed the first incidence of a candidate breaking from his previous political party to form his own party, and running under a personalist banner in the presidential campaign. He formed a new political party, and included import ant dominant players from his previous party. This is a stark exam ple of the lack of commitment to political parties by elite members. His election also serves as an example of the weak voter loyalty to a particular political party. Voters have tended to become attached to a specific presidential candidat e, as opposed to a party. Since the election of Abdal Bucara m in 1996, outsider candidates have performed extremely well in presidentia l elections. In addition, none of the presidents elected after 1996 have managed to successfully co mplete their term in the presidential office. Abdal Bucaram, who campaigned on a populist platform, survived barely seven mont hs in office until being impeached on grounds of mental incapacity. Bucaram fled to Panama and has been directing his political party from Panama since 1997. He has promised a return to Ecuadors politics. One of t he leading players in arriving to a peaceful dismissal of office was Jamil Mahuad, who would win special elections called in 1998. Mahuad served in office for sixteen months of his four year term, until social and
42 political protest led to a bloodless c oup against him, lead by sectors of the military and indigenous organizations. One of the main leaders of this coup was Colonel Lucio Gutirrez, who would go on to win normally scheduled elections in November, 2002. As outsiders performed well in the 1996 and 1998 elections, the governmental also suffered from unprec edented constitutional crises during both Bucarams and Mahauds presidencies. As Bucaram campaigned as a populist outsider, his dismal performance in office highlighted the difficult reality of being an effective outsider president. Two years later, the country chose former mayor of Quito and career politic ian Jamil Mahuad as president, yet his victory came by a slim margin over billionaire outsider Alvaro Noboa. Though the vote was almost evenly split between Harvard educated Mahuad and political neophyte Noboa, faith in outsider candidates was shaken a fter Bucarams disastrous presidency. Fearing Noboas close connection to Buca ram and looking for a more predictable candidate, the populace once again turned to a career politic ian to confront increasingly bleak economic and political situations. Mahuads presidency ended no better than Bucarams, as national prot ests and strikes forced his removal. This set the stage for the 2002 election. Both populist, outsider candidates and career public administrators had bot h been delegitimized with by their performance in office.
43 The 2002 Elections Before beginning analysis on the 2002 elections, this work examines sections of the new Ecuadorian consti tution (ratified in 1998) that address presidential elections and polit ical parties. It looks at the law of political parties and the constitutional rules for the formation of a political party, and also looks to the role of political parties that is prescribed by t he Ecuadorian constitution. The analysis highlights certain articles of t he Constitution that try to assist in controlling the multitude of minor parties, including requ irements for support in order to maintain registered, and laws related to campaign spending. It also addresses the new electoral laws that allow independent candi dates to run for president without any alignment or a ffiliation with political parties. The role of the Tribuno Supremo Electoral (TSE) is also prescribed in the constitution, including how the TSE is organized. The Tribuno is an independent and autonomous institution t hat organizes, supervises, directs and guarantees the electoral process, and is responsible for official result s of elections. The presidential election functi ons on a two round system. This study of the 2002 presidential el ections looks at the six contesting candidates. There were a total of eleven candidates, but five received less than 4% of the vote each in the first round. It introduces the six dominant candidates in the presidential election and looks at t heir party affiliation, ideology, campaign strategy, and the rhetoric of each candi date. One sees that certain candidates
44 focus on qualifications, while others focus on personalities in order to garnish support. In a crowded field, three candidate s identified themselves as outsiders (Gutirrez, Noboa and Rolds) and two candidates came from established political parties (Neira and Borja). Ja cobo Bucaram campaigned as an outsider, but came from a historically populist party. The majority of this information on this election comes from primary resources, including newspaper articles, magazine articles, candidate websites, and published interviews. These documents address both general themes in the el ection, and clarify political party involvement in the elections and campaigns. When discussing the results of the first round, newspapers and magazines are relied on as important references. Additionally, the reports, opinions and conclusions of various inte rnational observation groups, including the European Union, the Organization of American States, and the International Republican Institute form an impo rtant part of this analysis. After a careful analysis of the 2002 round one results, including a brief statement on the legislativ e results of 2002, the study moves into the second round. Due to the fact that two non-traditional, outsider candidates placed in the second round, this work analyzes diffe rences and similarities in support, ideological content, plans of government s, and campaign stra tegy. In addition, the reactions of other politicians to t he presence of Gutirrez and Noboa in the second round are included. An import ant discussion of which second round candidate political parties supported, or why they chose to not endorse any
45 candidate, is included. This analysis highlights main issues in the 45 days between round one and round two, and addr esses speculation of how each candidates victory in the election c ould potentially impact the country. Finally, the study concludes with im portant comments about the role of opposition in the Ecuadorian pol itical system. In every presidential election since the election of Jaime Rolds in 1978, the electorate has soundly rejected both the incumbent party and the partys ideological position. The last three elections have placed into power extremely dist inct presidents, two of whom have nontraditional political backgrounds. Forming st rong opposition to a current president gives a party or politician a distinct advantage in the next elections. The 2002 election results in both the first and second round affirmed the populations alienation from nearly all pol itical party candidates. Though many polls predicted that traditional politicians would per form well in the elections, the voters soundly rejected those candidates at the polls. Noboa and Gutirrez were strikingly different candidates, coming from different backgrounds, different regions, with different ideologies and vastly different sources of support. Yet, they had two very important points in common. Firstly, neither man had any political experience whatsoever. Secondly, they both campaigned offering the concept of a new way of politics that differed greatly from traditional politicians. Both spent the majority of their campaign focusi ng on the needs of the poor and excluded. Noboa used his wealth and business success as an indicator of what his business contacts could do for the count ry. Gutirrez became a representative
46 for the multitude of indigenous citizens and impoverished Ecuadorians who were fed up with economic decline, corruption, and a distant political system. No candidate with political party ties managed to connect to these groups. The 2002 election again brought an unexpect ed result. For the first time in modern democratic history, t he electorate completely rejected traditional political party candidates by supporting outsiders in the first round. No political party candidate managed to even finish among the top three. The liability of affiliating with a political party showed through in t he election results, as outsider candidate performed markedly better in the first round than insider candidates. This thesis will look at why.
47 CHAPTER THREE: THE RETURN TO DEMOCRACY AND ECUADORS FIRST THREE ELECTIONS Historical Construction This brief historical orientation s uggests the Ecuadorian state held very little power in the 19th century and the early 20th century. In addition, there was an almost complete absence of instit utional power in Ecuador, as nearly any state consolidation occurred because of a specific caudillo and his programs. Political parties held almost no influenc e in government, and never developed an institutional base that wa s independent of from str ong, dominant leaders. The two political parties that formed in t he mid-1800s, The Liberal Party and The Conservative Party, represented little more than different regional elite interests. Neither party attempted to create roots in society, develop coherent ideology, or create long lasting grassr oots support. Instead, the caud illos formed the base for the political system, without integrating political parties as an important component. In 19th century Latin America, the cont inent had several presidents who held strong despotic power but extremely weak institutional power. Caudillos, defined as, strongmen on regional or natio nal levels who seize power through extra legal means, became Ecuadors dominant presidents. (Morner 1993:7)
48 Ecuador had yet to fully develop effectiv e governmental institutions. Ecuadors first president, Venezuelan Juan Jos Flores, was primarily concerned with maintaining internal cohesion (Morner 1993:7). The dominant characteristic of the state from 1820-1855 was t he use of force to maintain unity (Ayala Mora 1983:9). The different priorities of regional e lites formed the base of Ecuadors first contentious political parties. T he highland elite (mainly landowners and hacendados) formed the political base of the Cons ervative Party. In contrast, the coastal elite (agro exporters and commercia l bankers) created the Liberal party in Guayaquil. As elite regiona l priorities differed great ly, regionalism became an additional source of division. This shaped a political culture where politics consisted of splintered factions of elit es, and politics remained largely outside of the average citizens realm. Much of the division among the elit es came from ideologies of Gran Colombia. Conservatives tended to support Bolivarian ideas of the formation of independent states, whic h encouraged top-down, hi erarchical, strong, authoritarian rule with an emphasis on order and control. Bolvar favored the supremacy of the president in comparison with other branches of government. The Liberals found their base in the oppos ition of Santander, who believed in a more democratic form of government. His system highlighted the separation of powers and emphasized the system of checks and balances.
49 The experience of party developm ent in independent Ecuador showed a longstanding tradition of weak and ineffect ive political parties. This shaped the development of modern political parties. The Conservative Party, based in Quito, was the first to gain control of the central government. It placed its priorities on establishing order and cementing the role of the Catholic Church in Ecuadors new political system. As Gabriel Garca Moreno served as president for over a decade, those alienated by his strict Catholicism and conservative ideology quickly joined the opposition Liberal party When in power, the Liberal party attempted to undo many of the refo rms enacted by the Conservatives. Neither the Conservative Party nor the Liberal Party served as an adequate base to the development of a contentious party system in which political parties functioned independently of specific leaders. Both parties became steeply dependent on their leader s, and became defined more on personalistic qualities of their respective ca udillos instead of different ideological bases. Both parties only included elite me mbers of their regi onal stronghold, and neither made an attempt to bring politics ou tside of the elite sphere. In addition, their doctrines differed on the sole issue of the role the Church played in society. Both Conservatives and Liberals claimed to be devoutly Catholic, so the small variance in their vision of the relati onship between the Church and the State formed the main noticeable ideological difference. The Church enjoyed a prominent and pow erful place in society, including complete responsibility for all levels of education and the responsibility for
50 registering births, marriages and deaths. The Constitution of 1830 declared the newly independent country as a Roman Catholic state, and obligated the state to protect the Church to t he exclusion of all others. Ecuador did not become a secular state until the begi nning of the 1900s. Gabriel Garca Moreno, Conservative president from 1860-1875, is widely seen as the man responsible for beginni ng the consolidation of the Ecuadorian state. His presidency fostered decades of C onservative rule from Quitos elite. The disorder of the state provided the authoritarian Garca Moreno an opportunity to use military might in his a ttempt to establish order in Ecuadors fragmented territories. His regime emphasiz ed strong presidential authority, a subordinate national congress, the control of individual liberties, public morality, centralized government, inst itutionalization of polit ical power, and, most importantly, the dominance of the Cat holic Church (Hurtado 1980:101). His personal beliefs, including his devout Catholicism, became the base of the countrys government. In a barely consolid ated country with little rule of law, he used his personal authority and forc e to implement his programs. His regimes push to establish the Catholic Church as an intimate part of the state resulted in the, Mo st theocratic regime in all of the Americas. (Martz 1972:69) Other authors have addressed the theocratic characteristics of his regime (Handelsman 2000:9). Congress became completely subordinated to the whims of the president (Martz 1972:64). T he establishment of Catholicism as the only recognized religion emphasized this pr ivileged position of the church. In
51 addition, the Church gained control of additio nal tracts of land. The coastal elites, living in an area where the church had littl e influence in regards to issues of landholding and control of bureaucratic decisions, objected to the churchs privileges and its active role in the state. Garca Moreno became an appropriate representative for the established highl and bureaucracy, heavily influenced by the Spanish colonial experience. He used strong force in his attempt to integrate the state and the church. The Conservative regime and its l eaders began to lose their grip on power, and the political or ientation shifted to a new ideology. The liberal revolution, beginning with coastal leader El oy Alfaros first presidency from 18951901, would dominate the country for over twenty years. Martz described Alfaros magnetic appeal to the masses as a new phenomenon in natio nal Ecuadorian politics. While the patriarchal system of rule in Ecuador facilitated the construction of a highly paternalistic polit ical system, this adoration of him by common people served as an important co mponent of the political system. Yet, Martz also states that Alfaro had an ex tremely difficult time governing. This juxtaposition of a politician with a populist message who has strong popular support but does not govern effectively is a trend that becomes evident in Ecuadors future. The legacy of the Liberal revolu tion, which lasted from 1895-1925, included constitutional revisions that primarily addressed t he role of the Church in the state and society. While in no means anti-Catholic, Ecuador became a
52 secular state in 1906, guaranteed non relig ious public educat ion, established separation of Church and Stat e (therefore subordinating t he Church to the State) and recognized freedom of thought. The Li beral constitutions also included clauses addressing the responsibility of t he State to care for indigenous citizens of Ecuador. Alfaro and the Liberals ruled in an er a of economic boom, which allowed the state to take an active role in the development of the nati on. The high levels of revenue from cacao exports allowed the government to provide funding for many different factions of society (S chodt 1988:36). Schodt argued that Ecuador became an active state for the first time during the Liberal Revolution, which not only provided public works, but also form ed an expected level of investment and expenditure by different elite groups and regions (Schodt 1988: 36). Yet, this ability to satisfy competing demands depended on a constant high price of a single export, whose price was dete rmined by the international market. Inevitably, the price dropped, and Ecuadorian leader s had to design a new strategy that continued to satisfy fiscal demands that exceeded income. George Maier claims that the lin kages between economic performance and political performance, while important in every country and region of the world, are particularly transparent in Lat in America (Maier 1971 :490). World War I caused much economic decline for exporting countries, and Ecuadors economy suffered harshly. The diminished revenue in the coast transferred into diminished income for the central government, becaus e of less duties and taxes on exports.
53 The government, running a budget deficit, had three main choices. Firstly, the government could cut back on expenditures, including abandoni ng many of the already initiated public wor ks projects. Secondly, the government could begin to print money and continue with the progr ams. Finally, the government could borrow money from Guayaquils banks, to supplement the decreased income. The government chose to print addition al money and also borrow money from Guayaquils banks, the central government s only source of credit. These measures resulted in spiraling inflati on, which negatively affected both coastal and highland interests. The military as an institution had not yet intervened in civilian politics at this point in Ecuadorian history. Flor es and other presidents had long military careers. Yet, the lack of cohesion of t he Ecuadorian military in state development and the general disorder in government were two important reasons why the military hadnt forcefully taken power from civilian governments. For the first time in Ecuadorian history, t he military as an entity bec ame involved in Ecuadorian politics during the 1920s. The ideological justification of this intervention came from frustration with t he economic stagnation of Ecuador, in addition to disillusionment with liberal governments which promised structural changes but produced little of it. Augustn Cueva states that young officers, frustrated by the unfulfilled promises of upward mobility of the liberal revoluti on, rebelled against an entrenched power system, which restrict ed professional advancement of the
54 new middle class (Cueva 1982:15). The enemy became the entrenched political system, and members of both the Conservative and Liberal political parties. The military junta and its refo rmist agenda suffered attacks from Guayaquil. Guayaquils elite believed that the reforms desired by the military aimed to diminish the economic power of Guayaquil by diverting much of Guayaquils wealth to the central gov ernment and the hi ghland region. The military government further a lienated itself from Guayaqu il by ignoring the citys powerful elites and aligning with the old, aristocratic highland oligarchy (Cueva 1982:16). These antagonisms between the m ilitary establishment in Quito and the business sector of G uayaquil lead to a period of continual governmental instability. The 1930s represented a period of both economic and political crisis in the Ecuadorian state. This situation of widespread disc ontent with the political elite and their political parties, the o ccurrence of fraudulent elections in the 1930s, and mediocre experience with milit ary intervention in politics created a space for a different type of political candidate. Jos Mara Velasco Ibarra and his Impact on the Political System Both the Conservative and Li beral governments had become less legitimate in the eyes of the people. C onservatives hadnt held power in decades and failed to find a leader that brought new life to the party. The Liberals faced accusations that much of the economic decline of the country was due to their governmental policies and that the liber als only aimed to serve Guayaquils
55 business community. This deadlock resulted in a situation where neither group had the power to implement their governm ental programs. This tie between elite groups resulted in a space for a charismatic leader, unlike Ecuador had seen before. A Congressman from Quito, Jo s Mara Velasco Ibarra came onto the national stage with his vocal opposition to a fraudulently elected liberal president in the early 1930s. In this he obtained the support of Conservative highland factions, who pref erred his rhetoric as opposed to revolution. Using rhetoric of change, Velasco Ibarra managed to unite much of the country behind him. Velasco Ibarra was the politician w ho would give the country a new type of politician with a new rhetoric of opposition to the status quo. Literature on populism almost always includes Ecuadorian Jos Mara Velasco Ibarra as a member of the classical populists in Latin America, due to his campaign style, his rhetoric of change, and his attempt to include Ecuadorians who had traditionally been ignored by politici ans. Both Carlos de la Torre (2000) and Ximena Sosa Buchholz state that Velsaco Ibarra founded Ecuadorian populism (Sosa Buchholz, 1999:138). Certain authors portray Velasco Ibarra as a politician who attempted to address the needs of Ecuadors common citiz ens. They cite the source of his electoral success in increased urbanization in Guayaquil. In contrast, in El Mito de Populismo Rafael Guerrero observes that Velasco Ibarra came to power in 1933 with the strong backing of elite groups. Guerrero stat ed that in a climate of worldwide socialist revolution, the Ecuadori an elite preferred Velasco Ibarra to a
56 wider social revolution. While rhetorica lly, he attacked the political class and the elites, he didnt have the power to make real changes. Velasco Ibarra won his first presidentia l election with a strong support from Quitos establishment. The Conservative elites recognized that Velasco Ibarra was a politician who could help break the coastal resurgence of power. In addition, the party was conscious of t he fact that none of the Conservative candidates were strong enough to win (Cue va 1982:24). Historian Alfredo Pareja acknowledges Guayaquils role in the victor y of Velasco Ibarra. Pareja states that Guayaquils population support ed Velasco Ibarra because of his rhetoric of opposition to the establishe d elite and a fundamental c hange in governing, even though he came from a conservative political tradition (Pareja 1979:415). The disenchantment with the es tablished political order allowed a politician to establish strong support in both the highlands and the c oast, a rare occurrence in Ecuadorian history. Populist discourse, including that of Ve lasco Ibarra, constructs politics as the moral and ethical struggle between t he people and the oligarchy. (de la Torre, 1997:14) In the era of Velasco Ibarra the oligarchy included the political elite and their respective political parties. Velasco Ibarra took politics out of the hands of elites and into public plazas. He revolutionized campaign strategies by touring most of the country, claiming he represented, politic al incorporation through honest elections. (de la Torre, 1997: 13) Velasco Ibarra did manage to expand the Ecuadorian electorate from 3.1% of the population in 1933 to 16.8%
57 in 1968, even though literacy requirements continued to exclude large sectors of society. (de la Torre, 1997:13) In a time of economic problems, hi s rhetoric and his ability to create himself as the hope and future of t he country and the onl y person capable of fixing deeply rooted problems earned hi m much trust and support in the beginning of his career. Yet, these same anti establishment views, combined with his resistance in forming a political party that could provide him legislative support, made him extremely vulnerable on ce in office. He had no support system to assist him through difficult ti mes when in office, no allies in Congress who could fight for and pass his plans and pr ograms, and little support to survive as a dictator. Velasco Ibarras moralism, personalis m and authoritariani sm contrasted with important democratic c oncepts. Though seeing hi mself as the embodiment of the will of the people, Velasco Ibarra la cked respect for democratic institutions on many occasions. He assumed tempor ary dictatorial pow ers, and abolished the constitutions of 1935, 1946 and 1970. (de la Torre, 1997:13) Many of his failures in political offi ce came from his lack of organization within his government and hi s determinedness to rule without assistance. His personal whims and unwillingness to list en to anyone who disagreed with him made his government unpredi ctable and unstable. Velasco Ibarra was elected president five times but only completed one full term. The contradiction of a cons istently popular president who cant
58 complete his constitutional terms provi des a fascinating example of conflict and contradiction in the Ecuadorian govern mental system. While Velasco Ibarra remained personally popular, his performance in office merited multiple military interventions and civilian pushes for hi m to be removed from office. Velasco Ibarras legacy contributed heavily to the developing political system and its characteristics in several wa ys. Firstly, this legacy of personalistic rule in Ecuador formed the cornerst one of the developin g political system. Instead of developing a party that could c ontinue to play a role in the political system when Velasco Ibarra wasnt in offi ce, Velasco Ibarra worked to maintain the masses loyalty as an individual. Carl os de la Torre highli ghts the fact that, The weakness of political parties since Ve lasco Ibarras times and the continuing inability of liberal democratic institutions to provide a sense of participation and belonging to the political community have contrasted with symbolic political participation through populist, non-parliamentary politics. (de la Torre, 1997:15) As political parties have failed to give ci tizens a sense of place and participation in the political system, individual polit icians have created populist movements to include more citizens in the political syst em. Therefore, citizens become involved in politics through a personal ca ndidate as opposed to a party. Secondly, Velasco Ibarras attitude to ward political parties also played an important role in the lack of political party institut ionalization. He actively discouraged the development of political parties to s upport him and his ideology. Instead of relying on party machinery, Velasco Ibarra often performed other
59 activities that political parties, th e bureaucracy and interest groups usually undertake in other political systems. His position as president represented an important link between the government and public opinion, as Velasco Ibarra worked to maintain lines of communica tion open while connecting individuals and groups. He did not believe in using a political party to intermediate his relationship with his followers. He traveled extensively through the country to meet with different social and eco nomic groups and explained governmental policies to them. This is a job that polit ical parties and interest groups usually direct, but Velasco Ibarra did it hims elf. Instead of creating a bureaucracy to gauge the situation and public opinion in the country, he found out firsthand what the people wanted as he toured the country. Yet, this energy and time put into developing a direct representation meant less focus, consideration and reflection on policies and program s. (Pyne 1977:289) Velasco Ibarra fought bitterly against dev eloping institutions and parties to support his candidacy during the campaign and his regime once in office. Yet, though parties generally were associated with elite interests and rarely effectively represented the people, his lack of polit ical party machinery had distinct disadvantages. Velasco Ibarra himself acknowledged the weakness at position, when he stated, I cannot count on a struct ured political party which would know how to defend me, how to carry out successful propaganda, and how to keep alive that civic emotion in spite of the di fficulties that wear away the popularity of any government. (Pyne 1977:293)
60 Thirdly, the lack of political doctrine allowed him to appeal to all different interest groups. His vagueness and failu re to develop an ideological position gave him heterogeneous support. Yet, this made his presidencies extremely unpredictable because no one knew exactly what he would do once elected. A vague platform has become common among Ecuadorian politicians, as campaigns dont adequately or realistica lly address presidential plans or programs that would be implemented once in office. Finally, Velasco Ibarras distain for the legislature and his outright refusal to develop a political party has greatly impacted Ecuadorian democracy in three ways. Firstly, Velasco Ibarra cemented t he establishment of the president as the single most important co mponent of the governmental system. Secondly, he encouraged reluctance by presidential candi dates to affiliate or associate with an ideological party ally in Congress. Finally, he encouraged a lack of cooperation between outsider presidents and a congre ss dominated by political parties. In addition, an outsider president with littl e or no political party support made coalition building crucial to the functi onality of the politic al system. In the Ecuadorian political system, coalition building and cooperation among parties has been historically difficult, and Ecuador had done this with little success. (Pyne, 1977) In the late 1960s, discovery of la rge petroleum reserves in Ecuadors Amazon area impacted the political sc ene of Ecuador. Velasco Ibarra was elected for the last time in June of 1968, 35 years after his first presidency. The
61 situation in Ecuador consis ted of a hostile congress, overwhelming economic problems and increasing politic al chaos. After elected, he decided to disband Congress, abolish the constitution and decla re himself a dictator in 1970, with the backing of the Ecuadorian military. As Velasco Ibarra aged and approached the end of his political career, a new populist leader from Guayaqu il and his political party became increasingly important in Ec uadorian politics. A ssad Bucaram, who had served twice as the former mayor of the port city of Guayaquil and was a member of a prominent Lebanese immigr ant family, came to dominate the political scene with strong s upport from Guayaquil. As the 1972 elections came, Bucaram declared himself a c andidate with the support of the Concentracin de Fuerzas Populares (CFP), a populist political movement formed as a splinter of the Velasquista movement in the late 1960s Bucaram seized control of the party in 1960, and used the party machinery to develop his personal prominence on a national scale. The ideology of the CFP, a center-right regional political party with nearly all its support in Guayaquil, wa s unabashedly populist in its rhetoric, appealing to the growing urban population of Guayaquil that began to fight for political inclusion. The military intervened and overthrew Velasco Ibarra before the 1972 elections could occur. A primary factor in the military intervention came from the widespread belief that Bucaram would wi n the 1972 elections. Both the military and the civilian business sect or feared a presidency of Bucaram, due to his unpredictability and his outrageous campaign promises. Particularly at a time
62 when Ecuador finally had a large influx of petrodollars, the military saw this as a golden opportunity to address deep economic problems. The m ilitary feared that if Bucaram were elected, he would misuse the money. In the militarys viewpoint, his clientelism apparent in his cam paign would squander the new wealth. Ecuador finally had the necessary funds to make investments in the development of the country. Therefore, a reformist military junta prevented the 1972 elections and took over political cont rol at a time of great oppor tunity for Ecuador. Army Chief of Staff General Guillermo Rodr guez Lara became leader of a nationalist and revolutionary military regime. The m ilitary regime looked towards Perus experience with a reformist military gover nment in office, and hoped to reorient Ecuadors government and economy. The military in Ecuador is one of the most respected institutions in the country, and has much more general public support than any political institution. When the military has become involved in civilian politics ma inly to mediate between opposing political fact ions, but has generally hesita ted to play an active role in the government. When it does, it intervenes when the military views civilian decisions as being detrimental to the country. The wealth provided by the oil boom allowed many to begin to dream of a new future for a prosperous and economically healthy Ecuador. Rodrguez Lara ruled for three year s, but the continued reliance on imported luxury goods and the increas ing debt burden on the government resulted in mediocre economic impr ovement. As inflation increased, and
63 Rodrguez Lara failed to make any notic eable changes in areas such as agrarian reform, he suffered from a bloody coup a ttempt in September of 1975 by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The unsuccessful coup resulted in the loss of 23 lives, and exposed the lack of unity within the military. On January 11, 1976, a second bloodless coup removed Rodrguez Lara, and a military junta took over power with the expressed des ire to return to democratic rule. Transition to Democracy and Political Parties The military government and civilian elites came to an agreement to purposefully democratize the country. The process stemmed from economic modernization of the Ecuadorian ec onomy, based on the discovery and exploitation of oil reserves during the 1970s. (Hurtado, 1980, Corbitt, 1988, Gerlasch, 2003, Martz, 1987.) In t heir push for industrialization and advancement, democracy represented a co mplimentary, purposeful component to a modern Latin American state. Military and civilian leaders formed a partnership to establish a functional pol itical system. (Hurt ado, 1980). In 1979, Ecuador became the first Latin Amer ican country to re-democratize. The process didnt go as intended when the military initially decided to allow a return to civilian rule in 1976. The military planned for a two year transitional period which woul d allow the construction of a new constitution and a new political system, but the process took almost four years. As the first step in the return to democracy, an appointed civilian commission was to draft new governmental charters and electoral laws Then, the entire nation would vote
64 between two proposed constitutions. T he appointed commission, attempting to construct an effective governmental system identified weak po litical parties as one of the key problems in Ecuadors chaotic political past. Due to the historical instability that had accom panied personalist leaders (including Velsaco Ibarra) and the antagonisms between the legislatur e and the president, the commission attempted to use electoral laws to create a more smoothly functioning government. The commission took advant age of the consensus and widespread support for establishing a new, effective political system. Therefore, they included important clauses in the constitution t hat attempted to create a healthy link between politicians, political parties and the electorate. The awareness of the dysfunctional party system prompted a special legislative commission to evaluate par ty regulations in 1977. (McDonald, 1989:315) Two of Ecuadors most influentia l up and coming politicians served on the commission. Jaime Rolds and O svaldo Hurtado addressed problems that parties had created in Ecuadorian gover nance. Hurtado described the problems as, vacuous rhetoric, personal conflic ts, and ad hoc grouping. (Levy and Mills, 1983:21). The Supreme Council of Government, made up of the milit ary leadership, knew that Assad Bucaram, the probable vi ctor of the 1972 elections cancelled by the military, could be a st rong contender in this first election. This reality continued to worry both the commissi on and military leaders. Bucarams combative style, unpredictabi lity, and personal domination over his political party
65 served as prime examples of historical problems of personalist candidates within Ecuadors political system. The delay in the process of democratization occurred in part because of the militarys attempts to manipulate the electoral process and control the outcome, preventing Bucarams presidency. In a creative maneuver, the commission chose to prohibit peopl e whose parents werent native born Ecuadorians from becoming presidential cand idates, a stipulation believed to be directed at Bucaram. Bucarams parents were born in Lebanon, and though Bucaram was born in Ecuador, he could not be a presidential candidate. Ecuadors elites believed that the development of a functional, capable party system would cure Ecuadors perpetual political problems, and the country would enter a new stage of stability and pr osperity after its rocky political history. Ecuador needed a strong party system with modern, nati onal parties, even though the country had almost no experienc e with effective political parties. (Freidenberg and Alcntara, 2001) The co mmission created laws guaranteeing the right to form political parties, and a ttempted to create a strong party system by imposing requirements for party names membership, organiza tional structure, and program philosophies. In addition, to stem the prominence of outsider politicians, the commission agreed that a presidential candidat e must run under a party affiliation in presidential elections With this clause, the commission hoped the constitution would help create a more stable base of political parties in society.
66 The Ecuadorian case study becomes very unique in this context. Leaders attempted to create a functional party system by reform and laws, even though the country had no history of a party sys tem that fulfilled theoretical roles assigned to political parties. Therefore, the legacy of ineffective political party systems existed long before the return to democracy Yet, the long transition to democracy under military rule supposedly al lowed the country time to develop a viable governmental strategy t hat included political parties as a crucial part of the equation. This transition is distinct from other Latin American cases, where bureaucratic authoritarian governments and military dictatorships yielded to democracy after the blatant failure of the import substitution industrialization economic model and authoritar ian rule lost their legitimacy. The purposeful intention of Ecuadors transition, comb ined with civilian and military support of democratic governance, didnt create the need to study conflicts brought about by this transition. Therefore, scholar s focused on more drastic transitions. 1979-Widespread Support for Len Rolds The Constitution prevented Bucarams candidacy for president, but Bucaram was still a major player in t he first elections. Bucaram handpicked his nephew-in-law, Jaime Rolds to run as his stand in under the CFP party banner. (Conaghan, 1995:442) Bucarams new stra tegy was to campaign as a congressional candidate, obtain the pr esidency of Congress, and control the country from the legislature. Rolds campaign slogan was, Rolds to the
67 Presidency, Bucaram to power.(Conaghan 1995:442) Apparently, the attempt to diminish Bucarams influence in the election failed. After years of intentional work focusing on curbing the prevalence of personalism and dominance by a strong l eader in the new political system, Bucaram managed to creatively insert hims elf as a potential leader of Ecuador. While new electoral laws hoped to subordinate individual leaders to parties, the CFP functioned in the opposite way. The party leader handpicked a relative to take his place in the elections, and indica ted in every way possible that Bucaram would eventually be the one in control of the country. By postulating as a legislative candidate, Bucaram hoped to have a puppet president that would enable him to rule from the Congress. Yet, Rolds didnt act as Bucaram had planned. An intelligent and prepared politician himself, Rolds distanced himself from the CFP and Bucaram with his choice of Vice Presidental candidate, Osvaldo Hurtado, from the Democracia Popular (DP). Both Rolds and Hurt ado played important roles in the commission to reestablish democracy, both were young politicians, and their candidacy combined two popular politicians in Ecuadors two dominant regions. This combination appealed to a wide group of citizens. Though Rodrigo Borja of the Izquiera Democrtica (ID) led in many of the polls, the first round of voting put Rolds and and Partido Socialcristiano (PSC) candidate Sixto Durn Balln in the second round. The military, fearful of Bucarams po ssible involvement in the government, delayed the second round by se veral months to allow Durn Balln
68 time to build a coalition of right le aning parties and supporters. Much to the surprise of civilian elit es and the military, Rolds and Hurtado won the second round with a sweeping 68. 5% of the vote. After initial doubts as to whether the military would allow Rolds to take presidential power, Rolds was inaugurated on August 10th, 1979. With the economic situation improvi ng and increased state revenue from petroleum sales, Ecuador hoped to modernize and stabilize t he economy. Yet, the economic and social changes werent accompanied wit h changes in the highly fractured, personalistic, regionalist polit ical system. After his inaugur ation, Rolds regularly passed over Bucarams candidates for mi nisterial posts. In response, the CFP ceased to support presidential legislati on in Congress. In addition, Bucaram established a majority in Congress and took control of the unicameral legislature, the Congreso Nacional As Bucaram failed to develop his own platform, he focused on blocking Rolds legislation. The president began to look outside his party for support in Congress. The commission to reestablish democr acy attempted to use structural changes in the governmental system to c ontrol such problems as personalism, fragmentation, and personal animosity that prevented a functional government. Yet, constitutions cant change or mandate po litical culture, and the pre existing political culture became woven into the constitutional system. Bucarams attempts to sabotage Rolds legislatio n as punishment for not submitting to clientelistic demands served as a poignant example of Ecuadors historically
69 personalistic political system. Bucara m played an important role in the dysfunctional state of polit ical parties in the democratic era. Personalism and fractionalization within political parties became a major component of the first presidential administration after so many careful reforms and laws to avoid these exact problems. In these critical first years of democracy, with the support from the entire country and the milit ary, Ecuador lost a critical opportunity to put theory into practice, and enact a system that a llowed for the development of a more cohesive party system. The reorganization of the political party system, so carefully addressed on paper by people like Rolds and Hurtado, was based around avoiding the exact problems t hat plagued the Rolds administration. Rolds broke off ties with the CF P and formed his own political party Pueblo, Cambio y Democracia (PCD) as his former po litical party became an obstacle instead of an ally in Congress. This set an important precedent. In the first democratic election of the modern dem ocratic era, a president rejected the party under which he was elected, sp lit from his party banner and created a personalistic party that could bette r suit his needs and provide him with legislative support while in office. This reality highlighted an evolving trend in Ecuadorian politics, which is the lack of allegiance by pr ominent national leaders to political parties that support them in elections. Leaders have rare ly been subordinate to their political party. If the party has tried to contro l an individual leader, the leader often responded by abandoning his political par ty and creating one of his own.
70 Ecuadors first attempt at a modern po litical party system resulted in a party boss hand picking his successor, internal party conflicts becoming critical in an executive-legislative deadlock, and t he a presidential decision to abandon the party he ran under during elections and form his own party while in office. The experiment of functional pol itical parties began dreadful ly. New political parties fell victim to internal conflict and subseque nt schisms, just like the previous two traditional parties. (Conaghan 1995:439) In August, 1980, Rolds candidate managed to beat the CFP candidate for the presidency of Congress, and Ro lds enjoyed increased support in Congress. However, Rolds did not have the opportunity to create a more effective political system with his newf ound backing in Congress. In May, 1981, President Rolds, his wife, and the mini ster of defense died unexpectedly in a plane crash near the Peruvian border. Assad Bucaram suffered from a heart a ttack in the same year and passed away. The two dominant political players an d their respective parties faded from the scene. As Vice President Osvaldo Hurt ado from the DP became president in a time of increasing debt pressure and impending economic crisis, Ecuador had a second chance at establishing a less vi olate and personalistic political system. Hurtado, Rolds constitutional successo r, entered office in a difficult economic situation. As the petroleum boom suddenly ended, the country found itself struggling to meet debt payment obligations. In addition, the phenomenon of El Nio damaged Ecuador in 1982 and 1983, as Ecuador suffered severe
71 economic losses due to extreme weather conditions. Infrastructure damages resulted in a $640 million loss, with an additional $300 million in balance of payments deficit. Inflation reached its highes t point in the history of the country, at 52.5% in a single year (R eturn to Democratic Rule). Hurtado, though ideologically a c enter-leftist, implemented many unpopular austerity measures to gain the support of the Inte rnational Monetary Fund and keep the countrys lines of cr edit open. Hurtado suffered from four major strikes during his short time in offi ce; one of which was called off due to the fear of a coup detat in October of 1982 (Return to Democratic Rule). Though Hurtado suffered from lack of public s upport, he managed to hel p consolidate the democratic system and keep lines of cr edit open during a time of economic and political turmoil. Yet, the dismal economic conditions under a center-left president gave free market advocates an opportunity to attack the current administration. 1984-Len Febres Cordero and the Right Ecuador had another opportunity to begi n anew in 1984, with an election between apparently distinct political parti es with differing ideologies. The second round featured Guayaquils Len Febres Cordero of the Partido Socialcristiano (PSC) and Rodrigo Borja, the leader of the Izquierda Democrtica (ID) from Quito. In this election, there were two candidates from different regional strongholds, with different economic plans, different ideologies and support from different populations. The simple fact that the electorate put these two candidates
72 into the second round showed a willingness to trust politic al party candidates with the government. In evaluating the electoral history of Ecuador, this election is the only one that pitted the two traditi onal parties against each other. This shows that Ecuador attempted to develop a contentious party system with two dominant parties. In this election, the two candi dates were markedly differen t, as were their political parties. Not only did the candidates and their parties espouse contrasting ideologies, but they also had support in distinct geographical areas, developed ideological bases, had different ideas of the role of the state in the economy, and had different platforms on how to gover n. The left faced the right, the Serranos faced the Costeos and a Reganist, free market reform er (Febres Cordero) faced a social democrat (Borja). These two politicians also had diff erent campaign styles, and emphasized different personal strengths in the ca mpaign. Febres Cordero focused on his business connections as opposed to political ones, and ran a charismatic, aggressive, personalist campaign, with an image as a dominant leader. In contrast, Borja emphasized his political experience, diplomacy, concern with building consensus, and connection with his party and the political system as a whole. Len Febres Cordero, who was a national deput y of the PSC came into prominence due to media attention because of his attacks on Hurtados government. (Conaghan and Malloy, 1994:132) An unabashed believer in the
73 free market and representativ e of Guayaquils business sector, Febres Cordero quickly became a prominent and aggressive politician who would dominate the PSC for decades. This put this conservative party in a good position for the 1984 elections, especially after the economic meltdown following t he 1982 debt crisis in Latin America. Many citizens were looking for a more efficient government. (Conaghan and Malloy, 1994:132) Febres Cordero won a narrow victory by 81,000 votes and acted rapidly to implement neoliberal reforms in his a ttempt to save Ecuador from a deepening economic crisis. His presidency included a strict neoliberal economic program and received the strong support of not only Guayaquils business elites, but also of the United States and the larger inte rnational financial community. Politically, his controversial and author itarian leadership style created many enemies, including congressmen from Borjas party the ID, which was the largest party represented in Congress. The presidentia l administration had many severe problems. They began with t he loss of the majority in congress in 1986 and the establishment of the ID as the leaders of the legislature. In addition, the legislature requested Febres Corderos resignation, which he refused to give. Other events included a deepen ing economic crisis and a failed referendum initiated by Febres Cordero to restructur e the political party system by allowing independent presidential c andidates to run. (Conaghan and Malloy, 1994:170) In one of the more outrageous occurrences, members of the Air Force kidnapped and held President Febres Cordero host age for two days before releasing him.
74 Febres Cordero himself described his pres idency as governing, With a pistol to his throat. (Conaghan and Malloy, 1994: 172) Once again, overwhelming personal opposition and animosity between the two branches of government crippled the capacity of t he government to govern. In 1988, the Ecuadorian electorate had the first opportunity in the democratic era to reform the constitution to allow candidates who have no political party affiliation to run for presi dent. This idea was rejected at the polls, as a referendum to this effect failed to pass. This suggests that at this point, the electorate still supported the concept of a presidential candidate from a political party that would run on the same pla tform as congressional candidates. 1988-Rodrigo Borja and the Left As the 1988 elections came, other polit icians quickly became leaders in the presidential campaign. As became common in Ecuador, candidates who held different ideological positions from t he incumbent president became frontrunners in the campaign. The presidents most outspoken opponent, Rodrigo Borja, was a strong candidate for the 1988 elections. Borj as two previous experiences in the presidential campaign (in 1979 and in 1984) made him an experienced and well known candidate. The second round brought a new face to national prominence, Abdal Bucaram from Guayaquil. Nephew of deceased CFP party boss Assad Bucaram and brother in law of deceased president Jaime Rolds, Abdal established a populist political party in honor of ex-president Rolds, the Partido Roldsista
75 Ecuatoriana (PRE) in 1983. Bucaram was elected as mayor of Guayaquil in 1984, an important political post in Ecuador After being ousted as mayor due to corruption charges, Bucaram fled to Panama and was incarcerated briefly for drug trafficking. Bucaram came back to Ecuador in order to run in the 1988 elections, and managed to win 17.6% of the first round vote for second place. This put him in the runoff agains t Borja for the second round. Finally, the incumbent party ran a candi date in the elections. Sixto Durn Balln, one of the founders of the PSC, ran hoping to continue the PSCs tenure in office. Durn Balln performed poorly and placed third in the first round. With this, the Ecuadorian electorate had t horoughly rejected the PSCs experiment with free market reforms and their lack of success of improving Ecuadors continually dismal ec onomic situation. Bucarams political party, the PRE, served an important function in Ecuadors national pol itical scene. Since the 1930 s, Ecuadorian politics always had a dominant, outsider leader, who receiv ed strong support from the non-elite population. Velasco Ibarra was Ecuadors pr ominent populist for almost 40 years, from the 1930s through t he 1970s. As Velasco Ibarra aged, Assad Bucaram established the CFP and used a populist message to create a personal following. When Bucaram died in 1981, Abdal quickl y began filling the roll of an opposition politician, distinguishing himself from t he political elites and establishing himself as the embodiment of the national will. Abdal managed to create a political party machinery that gave him support and wo rked for his candidacy. Abdal
76 represented the excluded in Ecuadorian politics. His Lebanese roots, campaign full of dancing, sports, and spectacles and his condemnation of traditional politics won him adoration by many citi zens who had always felt excluded from the political scene. Borjas image, personal history, and ex perience couldnt have been more different. An established politician and Co ngressional representative, Borja had a long history of intimate involvement wit h the government. An academic who saw public service as his personal duty to his country, his image was that of a serious, well-trained politician, comple tely the opposite of Bucaram. Borja campaigned on a social democratic appr oach to government, emphasizing the importance of social services. He adv ocated more state involvement in the economy. After four years of structural adjustment under Febres Cordero he promised no new fiscal shocks. In addition, Borja hoped to insert Ecuador back into the international arena, after Ecuador defaulted on its fo reign debt in 1987 (Hey, 1995). After Febres Corderos econom ic policy, closely aligned with the United States, Borja attempted to build relationships with Ecuadors neighbors. Borja won the presidential competiti on by receiving 252,160 votes more than Bucaram (Revista Vistazo). The Ecuadorian electorate had the opport unity to choose from a politician with strong political party support, or an outsider politician with a populist message. The ID was the most strongly r epresented political party in Congress, with a clear ideology, a long history in the legislature, and had strong connections
77 to institutionalized politics. Bucaram r epresented little ideological development, ran on a campaign of opposition to the es tablished system, and his brief political experience as the mayor of Guayaquil re sulted in his removal and exile. Borja entered the presidency in a time of grave economic problems and a general feeling of animosity for not only the free market reforms that Febres Cordero had implemented, but also w hat former President Osvaldo Hurtado called Febres Corderos admin istration, a civil dictator ship. (Revista Vistazo) Borja brought his experience in politi cs and campaigned with an optimistic message that addressed opening channels for po litical participation, stabilization of the economy in a way that allowed the democratization of credit and a focus on job creation, and finding a peace with di gnity in respect to a border dispute with Peru. Borja entered his presidency wit h 30 seats in Congress (42.2%), and with members of the ID in prominent provincial posts in 17 of Ecuadors 21 provinces. This put Borj a with the most legislativ e support any candidate had since the return to democracy in 1979. Borja used his legislative approve and implement mini-devaluations of the sucre in an attempt to control inflation. Borja believed in socialist principles with an active state in the economy. Ye t due to adjustment packages and internationally imposed economic polic ies in conjunction with continued debt relief, Borja had few options but to cont inue free market reforms and open the economy to privatization. Though Ecuador had defaulted on its external debt, Borja made symbolic payments to show t he international ma rket of Ecuadors
78 intentions to be involved in the wo rld economy. Though rhetorically, Borja advocated adequate social services for t he impoverished populat ion in Ecuador, he did not make significant progress in r educing levels of poverty. Borja failed to take advantage of his ID majority in Congress from 1988-1990 to pass and implement programs that significantly im proved the living conditions of the poor. In 1990, Borja lost his majority in Congress, and become yet another Ecuadorian president who had the difficult task of trying to rule with little congressional support. By 1992, inflation had begun to rise and petroleum prices continued to be increased by the government, resulting in high levels of unpopularity for Borjas government. In addition, a new, powerful social movement that would greatly impact Ecuadorian politics and election emerged on the national scene during Borjas presidency. The Confederacin de Nacionales Indgenas de Ecuador (CONAIE), claiming to r epresent the 25-40% of the Ecuadorian population with indigenous roots, staged its first national protest and strike during Borjas presidency in 1990, and presented 18 dem ands to the government relating to necessities for the indigenous population. Initially, Borja negotiated with CONAIE and its leadership. The dialogue conti nued but included several ruptures, new threats for uprisings and st rikes, and general rejection of the government and its policies by the indigenous citizens. Only minor progress was made in the development of a mutual relationship.
79 Ecuadors indigenous population has been exclu ded from politics for hundreds of years. The indigenous have suffered from lack of the most basic necessities, such as food, housing and adequate medical care. As many speak native indigenous tongues, l anguage is another main obstacle to integrating the indigenous sector into society. CONAIE formed to address the specific needs of these citizens, who for hundreds of years, have been viewed as less than citizens. Initially, this social movement purposefully stayed out of traditional politics, and has used such methods as strikes, protests and governmental negotiations to achieve their demands. A fter supporting the development of a political movement, Pachakutik, to compete in elections, groups such as the CONAIE began to advocate for inclusi on in the political system and make demands to a government that was not adequately representing them or meeting their needs.
80 CHAPTER FOUR THE SHI FT OCCURS (1992-2002) 1992-Sixto Durn Balln-From Insider to Outsider The sheer quantity of pres idential candidates (ranging from six to 12 candidates in any election) has created a unique reality for those campaigning for the presidency. This plethora of candi dates produced varying results in a two round election system. Candidates can often pass on to the second round with 15-20% of the national vote in the firs t round. Therefore, instead of building a broad national consensus in the first r ound, candidates can pinpoint a specific population or region t hat will actively support them. If they do this successfully, this can often result in a second round appearance, which is generally when candidates then make their campaign st rategies more nationally based and inclusive. Yet, a first place finish in the polls after the first round does not necessarily indicate widespread support of a certain candidate or ideology. The electoral system also can result in two candidates with similar ideologies, backgrounds, or regional st rongholds. In the second round, mandatory voting means the electorate must pick between on e of the two candidates, regardless of whether they feel either c andidate adequately represents them.
81 In 1992, Rodrigo Borjas presidential term came to close amidst rising economic speculation and inflation. The mult iple strikes and protests by CONAIE and other social groups created a sense of general unrest. Continual problems with servicing the external debt and bl eak macroeconomic factors combined with a strong congressional opposition against Borja and his center-left ideology. Candidates with a conservative, free market based ideology dominated the presidential electoral season. Borja and t he center-left had no nationally viable candidate. Of the 12 candidates who ran fo r the presidency in 1992, the Partido Socialcristiano (PSC) and its members dominated the election season in a surprising way. Febres Cordero affiliat ed with the PSC to run for Congress in 1978, but he continued to identify himsel f as a businessman as opposed to a party militant. As President of Ecuador from 1984-1988, he established himself as the undisputed head of the party. Si xto Durn Balln, one of the PSCs founders and PSC candidate for president in 1979 and 1988 decided to contest the nomination of Jaime Nebot Saadi during the PSC convention. Nebot had strong backing from Febres Cordero and bus iness elite of the party. Yet, like Durn Balln, some of t he party militants and career politicians objected to Febres Corderos domination of the par ty and his authoritarian style. Durn Balln wanted to redirect the PSC to its roots as a political organization instead of continuing with its current close a lignment with powerful business sectors.
82 Nebot won the nomination, but Durn Ballns voic ed suspicions about voting irregularities at the presidenti al convention. When the party did not address his complaints, he cut off all ties with the PSC, a move that was widely popular with the public. After much urging to join the presidential race without PSC affiliation, he became a candidate and his public support skyrocketed. As the public was growing incr easingly less tolerant of internal bickering among political parties, Durn Ballns attemp t to stand up to party leaders won him many admirers. An experienced politician and political party mem ber, Durn Balln saw the stunning electoral success of Peruvian outsider President Alberto Fujimori, who had recently shocked the internati onal community with his rapid rise to prominence and sweeping victory in the pr esidential elections. Fujimori had no political experience and won on his identit y as a candidate with no connection to the traditional political class. Durn Ba lln, like Fujimori, could campaign on a platform as an independent candidate, uni nfluenced by traditional political parties, and untainted by the declinin g public support for parties that had increasingly become viewed as corrupt, ineffective, and unable to address the needs of the populace (Conaghan, 1995). Due to constitutional regulati ons, Durn Balln needed to run as a member of a political party. He created the Partido Unin Republicana (PUR) to serve as his party for the 1992 elections. Th is creation of a party for a personalist candidate showed the inverse relationship of parties and politicians in Ecuador.
83 Politicians continued to see parties as vehicles for personal ambitions, not as ideologically solid organizations, independent of indivi dual leaders. The lack of ideology of the PUR made Durn Ballns choice of a vice president an important sign of his gov ernmental plans and intentions. Durn Balln chose Alberto Dahik as his vice pres idential candidate. Dahik, a hard core right wing, neoliberal economist, had served as economic minister under Febres Cordero. The PUR director, Mauricio Gandara, opposed Dahik, who was a political insider, as Durn Ballns vice presidential candidate. Gandara feared Dahik would decrease Durn Ballns capacity to market himself as an independent political candidate from the ideological center, due to Dahiks close party affiliations and extreme free market views. As conflict ensured, the PUR expelled Gandara.6 Durn Balln, along with Jaime Nebot of the PSC and Abdal Bucaram of the PRE, became the dominant candidate s. The first round, won by Nebot, concurred with a strong victory for the PSC in the legislative elections (the PSC won 27.3% of the seats in Congress). Nebots close a lignment with ex-president Febres Cordero and his active role in the party made him an insider candidate, affiliated with the established political system. He ran with the support of the established business elite from Guayaquil, claiming t hat the country needed to be run more efficiently. 6 For more information about this event, please see Catherine Conaghans article written in 1995.
84 Although Durn Balln founded the PSC, was the partys presidential candidate on two different occasions, and continued to have strong contacts within the party, He managed to shed his image as an insider politician and highlight his newfound indepen dence. Durn Balln used this fact to establish himself as an outsider candidate, which appealed to the population alienated by political parties. The PUR only won seven seats in the legislature, which was 15.6% of the seats. In the second round, these two candidates with common regional, party and ideological roots had few distinctions from each other. Their main difference was their current affiliati on with traditional politicians and political parties. While both developed their car eers inside the conservative, business oriented PSC, Durn Ball ns condemnation of the tr aditional order and his willingness to abandon his ow n political party showed that no political organization (most of which were gaining a reputation as corrupt and inefficient) could control him. He could come into office as an outsider candidate, untainted by past failures of political parties and their administrations. Durn Balln went on to win the se cond round and became president in Ecuador in 1992. As the new president began his term with only seven allies in congress, that soon decreased to a singl e PUR member in Congress after the 1994 legislative elections. In addition, Durn Ballns administration became involved in a major corruption scandal. Am ong the many governmental officials accused of unethical behavior was Vice Pr esident Alberto Dahik. Dahik accused the legislators and the judiciar ies of forcing the president to pay bribes in order to
85 provide legislative support to impl ement programs. T he Congress and the Supreme Court responded by beginning im peachment proceedings. Dahik went public with his accusations, stating, "The relationship that has developed between Congress and the exec utive branch over the last 15 years has led to a permanent form of blackmail from indi viduals, groups of people, and political parties in Congress. In this administrat ion, three different political groupsthe Movimiento Popular Democratico (MPD), the Partido Rodolsista Ecuatoriano (PRE), and the Partido Socialcristiano (PSC)have permanently engaged in blackmail to obtain favors from the government, reaching unb earable levels." (Noti-Sur, 1995) In September, the Supreme Court f iled multiple criminal corruption charges against Dahik, including em bezzlement and bribery. In addition, Congress threatened to file political char ges of bribery, abuse of office, and actions that damage the national honor. On September 11, 1995, Dahik fled to Costa Rica with his family to avoid pros ecution, and was granted political asylum in Costa Rica in April of 1996. As this crisis unfolded, congress members, judges, and administration members all suffered from a loss of legi timacy. As the political mudslinging continued with the exile of Dahik and the dismissal of Supreme Court justices, the deep corruption at all levels of government became apparent. In addition, political notables used the scandal as an opportunity to gain prominence and set up their campaigns for the 1996 electi ons. Durn Ballns administration
86 responded with an anti-corruption campaign, but much of the public had lost faith in him as a leader. The president who had campaigned as an outsider had become embroiled in scandal surrounding hi s administrations relationship with political parties. Finally, congressmen from multiple parties suffered from a loss of legitimacy, as the accusations and ac tions portrayed them as self-interested thieves who demanded pay ment in order to enact any programs. 1996-Abdal Bucaram, the Populist The political situation in 1996 was shaped by two main events. The first was the corruption scandal involving Vi ce President Dahik, Supreme Court justices, and many member s of the legislature. Ev ery branch of government suffered from accusations of bribery, and each branch continued to blame the others for the unethical practices. In addi tion, Durn Balln continued on the path of free market reforms, including privat izations of major industries, austerity measures and economic liberalizati on. Inflation, unemployment and underemployment continued to be endemic problems, as neoliberalism had yet to improve the quality of life of most Ecuadorians. Nine candidates competed in the firs t round of the elections. While the election was dominated by familiar faces, there was one historically excluded population that became involved in gov ernment. The indigen ous population had continued to unify and play an increasingly important role in the politics of the nation. They decided that in their quest to advocate for the specific needs of the indigenous population, they would suppor t a candidate in the presidential
87 elections as an organization. Freddy El hers, a non-politician and host of a popular news show in Ecuador, campai gned under the independent banner of Nuevo Pais, and ran explic itly supported by the Confederacin Nacional de Indigenas de Ecuador (CONAIE), indigenous groups and progressive social movements. Elhers campaigned as an out sider, with no connection to organized politics, attempting to represent a s egment of Ecuadors population that has historically been ignored. As is tradition in Ecuador, many of the 1996 presidential candidates had already competed in previous elections and lost. Both ex-presidents Rodrigo Borja and Sixto Durn Balln ran for president twice before being elected, and each of them performed particularly poorly in one election (Borja in 1979, Durn Balln in 1988). Three familiar faces entered the arena once again. Rodrigo Borja from the ID, ex-president of Ecuador, campaigned. In addition, Jaime Nebot made his second appearance in the presidential el ections, with the strong support of Febres Cordero and the PSC. Finally, Abdal Bucaram, candidate in 1988 and 1992, ran for the third time under his PRE party banner. Bucarams populist, non traditional campaign included an exaltation of Ecuadors poor, gifts of food and basic necessities, an entertaining ca mpaign full of dancing, singing and excitement, and an unabashed attack on established political parties and the existing political order. Though Bucarams campaign did not differ significantly from 1988 or 1992, traditiona l political parties had been embroiled in corruption
88 scandals and had proven ineffective at deali ng with the economic situation of the country. As the established politicians c ontinued to fail to address the every day needs of the majority of Ecuadors populatio n, the voters looked for new options. As the voters trusted Durn Ba lln and his message of change in 1992, Bucarams message of antagonism against t he political class and his willingness to identify with ordinary Ecuadorians made his candidacy st ronger than ever. Nebot, in contrast, campaigned with a strict neoliberal campaign, emphasizing the necessity of making Ecu adors economy viable using the tools of the free market. His c onnection with the business elite in Guayaquil, who funded much of his campaign, steered the country in a clear path of continued privitazation, neoliberalism and the accompanying austerity measures and cutbacks. Nebots campaign was as pragmatic as Bucarams was vague; while Bucaram avoided specifying realisti c governmental pr ograms he would implement and how he would deal with ec onomic constraints, Nebot clearly stated that additional free market reforms and austerity measures would further hinder the governments capacity to prov ide social services and support. Nebot won the first round by a slim margin ov er Bucaram, and Freddy Elhers placed third. Bucarams lack of ideology and experience worked to his advantage in the second round Bucaram created a hope for the future. Bucaram referred to himself as el loco (the crazy one) and brought a campaign unlike any other to the Ecuadorian people. He jumped out of airplanes, danced with popular salsa
89 models, and sang at his campaign events, which resembled a show as opposed to serious political discussion. He consistently condemned the established traditional parties, and blamed the country s problems on their incompetency and corruption. Jaime Nebot campaigned with a rea listic (albeit unpopular) economic program. He acknowledged that free mark et reforms and austerity measures would be a part of the next administration, whether a candidate supported or rejected them. He advocated for the needs of the business elite of Guayaquil, and wanted to create an economy and gover nment that could cater to their professional needs. In addition, his inti mate connection with Febres Cordero alienated those who disliked Febres Corderos authoritarian style. While Nebot only talked of economic progress, Bucaram used his populist rhetoric to create himself as the savi or of Ecuadors poor. The protest vote against Nebot and austerity measures gave Bucaram a strong advantage. Yet, scholars termed this election, A choice between cancer and AIDS in emphasizing the weaknesses of each candidate (de la Torre, 2000:87). Bucarams campaign strategy was to give the people what they wanted, and to tell the electorate what they wanted to hear. Bucarams charisma, combined with his boisterous style, lack of involvement with politics, ethnic minority status and common language disco urse formed a strong challenge to the traditional Ecuadorian political class. In addition, Bucaram campaigned as the first of several outsiders/opposition politic ians with virtually no connection to the
90 political system. This group would later include Alvaro Noboa, Lucio Gutirrez and, to a certain extent, Len Rolds. These candidates placed the strength of their campaign on their lack of connection wit h traditional political parties, their identity outside of the exclus ive political class, and thei r rejection of traditional politics. Bucaram chose not to be part of the establishment, and based his campaign on his voluntary s eparation from the institut ion of politics. Before Bucaram, all second round presidential candidates had some connection with a political stronghold or party. Yet, the c ontinual deteriorating situation of the Ecuadorian economy inclined the electorate to support something different. In 1992, Ecuadorians had chosen to support Sixto Durn Balln, a long time political party member who had abandoned his political party in search of a new party. His strategy worked in the fi rst round, as Durn Balln constructed himself as an independent politician, above the corruption and squabbles of established political parties. Yet, his dec ision to include another political insider, Alberto Dahik, led the country to a deep cr isis which shook the institutional base of the political system. As Durn Balln weathered the storm, traditional politics and its history of corruption became asso ciated with his name. Bucarams lack of experience on the national political level gav e him the right to campaign as a true outsider; one with hardly any connection to politicians or t he political system. Durn Ballns intimate ties to the political system did not disappear as he left his old party and created a new one. Yet, Bucarams control over his party and personal power gave him dominance. While in previous times, this was seen as a
91 detriment, it became attractive after all other potential groups and parties had lost legitimacy. To make him even more popular, he aligned with underrepresented and impoverished classes who were suffering even more harshly due to macroeconomic decisions made by a gov ernmental system that had never included them. Bucarams a ttempts to integrate these populations gave him credibility among the masses, as they saw Bucaram as a person who would advocate for their perpetually ignored needs. Bucarams slogan, Primero los pobres! (First the poor ones!) set the tone for his campaign. His promises of housing, health care, and food for the poor won their loyalty. Bankrolled by Alvaro Noboa, Ecuadors richest man who was worth several hundred million dollars, Bucaram had access to nearly unlimited amounts of money, and used this to give away t-shirts, food, and clothing on his campaign tours. His patriarchal message, promising to take care of the poor and uneducated, showed his desire to portray himself as the savior of the country. In reality, a fter unsuccessful and painful neoliberal reforms, Bucaram became the lesser of two evils. Bucaram won the second round by a slim margin of 27,000 votes over Noboa. Yet, once in office, Bucaram quickl y lost the support of the majority of Ecuadors population. He began to appoint re latives and friends to important posts in government, regardless of their qualifications. His antics as president, including releasing his own CD titled T he Man Who Loves and his national tour to promote the CD with sc antily clad models, embarrassed the country. In
92 addition, Bucaram invited Lorena Bobbitt to the presidential palace, a famous Ecuadorian woman who gained notoriety by cutting off her abusive husbands penis in the United States. Economically, Bucaram quickly turned to structural adjustment packages and harsh neoliberal economic policies, which surprised the entire country after his campaign bas ed on advocating for the needs of the poor. These economic goals included discussions with Domingo Cavallo (architect of the Argentine convertibility plan) to dollarize the economy in 1996. A last straw for Bucaram was his harsh in creases in the price of electricity and gasoline, which jumped in price by 200%. In addition, Bucaram increased the price of public transportation by 60%. These goals greatly impacted the entire population, but had a particularly devasta ting effect on the poorest Ecuadorians. In addition, Congress began to investigate allegations of co rruption within the Bucaram administration. By mid-January, opposition came from m any different front s, including the indigenous population, the urban poor, the middle cla ss, and academics and intellectuals. In a telling statement of the utter loss of confidence by the entire country, even the business sector suppor ted the ouster of Bucaram. Jamil Mahuad led Quitos business associations to join in the strikes and protests against the government. On February 6th, over two million Ecuadorians participated in a 48 hour national strike, calling for the resignation of President Bucaram. On February 7th, using a vague clause of the constitution, the Congress voted to impeach Bucaram on grounds of mental incapacity, and
93 elected President of Congress Fabian Al arcn as president. The situation became ever more confusing as Bu caram rejected the legality of his impeachment, his Vice President claimed the presidency for herself, and Congress elected a separate president. As a vacuum of power loomed, the Armed Forces rejected the possibility of taking power. The military encouraged the squabbling civilian factions to find a quick solution to keep the country from falling into anarchy. The military volunteered to serve as a mediator between these fighting groups, and an agreement was made. Bucaram left the count ry for self-exile in Panama, Vice President Rosalia Arteaga agreed to step down, and Alarcn would become interm president of Ecuador until August of 1998 when special elections would be held to elect a new president. From ex ile in Panama, Bucaram quickly made it apparent that he was not finished in Ecuador ian politics, and continued to direct his political party from Panama. This utter failure of Bucaram in the presidential office left the electorate with many harsh lessons. The populace had chosen Bucaram to protest the inefficient and unresponsive government of traditional political parties. Yet, Bucarams presidency ended in a situation of chaos, with political, economic and constitutional crises negatively impacting the entire country. While political party candidates hadnt been popular, all of them managed to finish their elected term in office. Bucarams tenure lasted a me re six months. While parties and their presidents had lost legitimacy due to their lack of successful government,
94 Bucarams government proved unstable and ineffective to a new extreme. Neither insider nor populist candidates managed to address Ecuadors profound economic and political probl ems, or provide the electorate with a sense of representation in high levels of governm ent. This left the electorate with little confidence in any type of politician. Both the new and the old had proved unsuccessful. Populist rhetoric had pr oven to be misleading, as Bucarams campaign promises did not in any way indica te what he would do once in office. Ecuador had yet to experience a successf ul presidency. The right, the left, independent and populist politic ians had all failed to make positive changes in the quality of life of the majority of Ecuadors populat ion. As different groups continued to be delegitimized, Ecuador had few additional options. As different people with different bases of support tri ed to address serious problems of the country, they lost their legitimacy while serving as president and did not meet the expectations of the people t hat elected them. The populat ion, frustrated by the continued failure of a wide spectrum of parties, politicians and ideologies to improve the situations in the country, prepared for another election in 1998. Wary of unabashed populism and disappointed at Bu carams performance, presidential candidates had to create themselves as something genuinely unique for the population. Fabian Alarcn ruled as interim president from February 1997 to August 1998. In July 1997, he dismissed t he Supreme Court as they began to investigate accusations that Alarcn had over 1,000 ghost employees on the
95 governments payroll. This removed the Supreme Court justice that was pursuing a corruption case against the inte rim president. Alarcn did not have the political support in Congress or the time to implement real changes. Though he attempted to get permission to complete Buca rams four year term in office, civil and political opposition prevented this. In addition, because Alarcn had not been elected to the presidency, he has less l egitimacy in the eyes of the people than other leaders. Alarcn ended his lame duck term in August 1998. In a context of never ending corrupt ion scandals among Ecuadors highest government officials, the 1998 election s eason began. The electorate had trusted Bucaram to be an outsider president who would make important changes in the economic and political sit uation of the nation. T hat experiment ended in near disaster, so the populace approached this election with wariness. Outsiders now had a strike against them, and the general fear that Bucaram would somehow manage to return to the country to attempt to be in power again impacted electoral choices. Frustr ated by the unbecoming behavio r of Ecuadors previous presidents and outraged at t he corruption apparent in all levels of government, Ecuadors population looked for candidates with experience in office who had a clean record. 1998-Jamil Mahuad, the Career Politician These elections became the first el ections that occurred under a new constitution, ratified in 1998. Much of the reason to change and update the constitution came from the confusing ev ents of Bucarams ouster in 1997, when
96 Ecuador had three people who claimed to be the legitimate president. Though eventually a peaceful solution occurred, the prior document did not clearly mandate what was to happen in a situation such as this. This constitution hoped to clarify these issues, and again addressed political parties. In a new approach to politics, the constitution also permitted the candida cy of independent candidates running without a political party banner. Important roles of political parti es are discussed, and the document attempts to assign functions to political parties and how they fit in the general system as a whole. Before addressing spec ifics of the 1998 elections, this study gives a general overview of the legal system in place for the 1998 elections. The Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador acknowledges the importance of the political party system. The Law of Political Parties states, Parties are organized by political doctrines, and ar e made up of people who freely associate with each other to participate in the life of the State. (OAS, 2002:28). Additionally, the law establishes an important role for polit ical parties, stating that they, constitute a fundamental element of the democratic system-they express and orient the public will, they promote active civic participation of citizens, they train their members to become involved in public life, and they select the best men for the term of the government. (OAS, 2002:28). Even the Ecuadorian legal code recognizes the importance of parti es, and claims that they should form a fundamental element of the democratic system.
97 In Article 114, the constitution guarantees the right to found political party systems and participate in elections in t he conditions established by law. Article 115 states that in order fo r a party to be recognized by law, it should present doctrines that individualize them, present a program of political action that abides by a democratic system, should be organized nationally [as opposed to regionally], and have the number of members that the law require s. In order to control for the multitude of minor parties and persona list parties, the law also states, whatever party or political mo vement that does not obtain a minimum of 5% of the valid vote in successive nati onal elections will be eliminated from the electoral register. In terms of campai gn limits, Article 116 establishes that, the law will fix the limits of campaign spending. Politic al parties, movements, organizations and independent candidates will have to present accounts before the Tribuno Supremo Electoral (TSE), about the amount, origin and destination of resources utilized during electoral campai gns. Finally, electoral publicity using the means of communication can only occur during the 45 days immediately before the date of t he closure of the electoral campaign. Article 209 of the constitution establishes The Tribuno Supremo Electoral (TSE) is the head of electoral organiza tion, and is made up of seven members who represent the political groups that received the most votes in the last elections. (OAS, 2002:28) It is aut onomous and administer ed independently, and its function is to organize, supervise, direct and guarantee the electoral process. The TSE is responsible for provid ing the official results of elections.
98 Presidential elections occur ever four years. Article 98 establishes that candidates can either run under political party banners, or c an run independently, without affiliation with political parties. In addition, while presidents and vice presidents cant be consecutively reelect ed, the can be elected after one term has passed. Article 100 of the Consti tution suggests that military members should resign from military pos ts before running for office. A candidate can win in one electoral round under two conditions. Firstly, a single candidate can obtain a simple ma jority of the vote. Secondly, if a candidate wins 40% of the vote, and ov er 10% more than the immediately following candidate, a second round is unnecessary. In Ecuador, no election has ever finished this way. If neither of thes e situations occurs, a runoff between the top two candidates takes place. The se cond round produces the new president of the republic. Mandatory voting means that candidates have to convince the majority of Ecuadorians that their candidacy will be able to address the countrys profound economic problems, along with political and social challenges. This requirement attempts to integrate all social and ec onomic classes into the political system, and give everyone a say in the governm ent. In a political system that has generally been highly exclusiv e, mandatory voting hopes to force candidates to address issues that are important to a large sector of th e population. With between 60-80% of Ecuadorians living in po verty, improvement in the quality of life is a fundamental issue of every cam paign. Mandatory voting reinforces the
99 importance of a bond between po liticians and the general electorate. Candidates must be attractive to the general population. Though mandatory voting intends to in volve the entire country in the electoral process, it has important unintended consequences. Specifically because of this, campaigns have often feat ured few realistic campaign promises and platforms. Considering that the vast ma jority of Ecuadorians live in poverty and have low levels of education, such ca mpaign strategies that use clientelism and handouts to the people become popular. In addition, this makes Ecuador ripe ground for unrealistic but attracti ve campaign promises. Instead of acknowledging realistic budgetary restrain ts, presidents speak of programs and changes that would be extremely difficult to actually implement. For example, highlighting the reality of continued austerity measures would be a detriment to a candidate. Yet, they are inevitably going to be a part of their government. Instead, candidates talk about new housing for the poor, programs that assist in providing food, and increased numbers of jobs that will be created by a new presidency. In addition, this has assi sted in creating a campaign season where candidates sometimes say whatever necessa ry to get elected, as opposed to addressing serious financia l and economic realities. Bucarams platform forms a poignant ex ample of a candidate specifically targeting voters alienated from tradition al political party rule, advocating for important changes to improve the lives of Ecuadors poor, and implementing unexpected, harsh austerity measures once in office. These surprising
100 measures included such decisions as s harply increasing the prices of basic necessities such as public transport ation and electricity. These mandate switches, very common in Ecuador have damaged the legitimacy of the president. Latin American constitutions have a long history of creating an ideal picture of a how a government should f unction instead of taking into account realistic constraints and integr ating the reality of a politic al culture that has been dominated by a history of authoritarianism as opposed to democracy. This constitution is another exam ple of Ecuadors attempts to use legal documents to regulate and change a political cultur e that never developed any strong attachment to political parties. After 20 years of a political system based on an important role of political parties, this constitution gave indepen dents the right to run for presidency. In 1988, the populace rejected a similar referendum that would allow independent candidates to run, but after the dism al performance of various political parties in the presi dent, the electorate was ready for new and untested governments. Sixteen months after Bucarams depar ture, the 1998 elections occurred. The chaos and near disintegrat ion of the government wa s fresh on many voters minds. The trauma and instability caused by Bucarams six month presidency and his unconventional removal from offi ce formed an important background for these elections. The unbecoming antics of Bucaram while in the presidency gave academically trained candidates with pr actical experience in politics an
101 advantage, as Ecuador looked for a candidate that could return a sense of honor and seriousness to government. Only six candidates campaigned in these elections, the fewest to date in Ecuadors history. After Democracia Popular (DP) candidate Rodrigo Paz finished fourth in a field of nine in 1996, the DP ran a different candidate for the President, Jamil Mahuad Whitt. M ahuad campaigned with a promise to modernize Ecuadors state apparatus and crack down on crime and corruption. Though the DP never had held the presiden cy, they had been an important group in Congress and were known for their m oderate viewpoints and their ability to negotiate with other political parties. Identified with the highland middle and upper class, the DP had a centrist ideology, and hoped to build some consensus in order to allow for the proper functioning of gover nment. In addition, Mahuad had an impressive rsum and a somewhat unusual reputation as a clean and honest politician in a country where the ma jority of politicians are viewed as corrupt by the public. His tr aining in Public Administra tion at Harvard University, combined with his respectable mayorship of the city of Quito, gave him the necessary experience and academic comb ination to propose serious programs to assist the country out of a continual economic downslide. Multi millionaire Alvaro Noboa was almost the exact opposite of Mahuad. Noboa blazed onto the political scene in 1998, under Bucarams party banner, the PRE. Noboa had bankrolled Bucarams successful presidential campaign in 1996. With Bucaram in self-exile in Panama and ineligible to run for the
102 presidency, he agreed to back Noboa as a presidential candidate, and have his party sponsor Noboas candidacy. Noboa had no political experience whatsoever and many Ecuadorians saw his wealth as a product of his inheritance as opposed to hard work. Bucarams connection to Noboa also brought much speculation, as the popul ation wondered if a Noboa pr esidency would also mean Bucarams return to Ecuador. Rodrigo Borj a ran for presidency under his political party banner, the ID, for the fifth time In addition Freddy Elhers campaigned again under the banner of Nuevo Pas. The characteristics of this election were markedly different from other ones. Firstly, only six candidates ran for pr esidency, as opposed to the usual field of anywhere between eight and twelve. Se condly, Noboas status as the only candidate from the coastal region of Ecuador gave him a huge comparative advantage. In a country where region often shaped the presidential election, 1998 was the first year that the traditiona lly strong coastal party of the PSC didnt field a candidate. Therefore, Noboa had no competition from another coastal candidate, which improved his odds at pa ssing into the second round. Thirdly, Noboas personal wealth and ability to finance his campaign, combined with the clientelistic support structur e of the PRE, gave him a combination of effective political party machinery with an unlimit ed pocketbook. As no campaign spending limits were in effect, the costs associat ed with running for president skyrocketed. Coming from an influential coastal family that made its wealth in Ecuadors banana export trade, Noboa claim ed to have the international connections and
103 the business knowledge to help the count ry out of its deep political and economic problems. His dominant, charismatic per sonality and lack of experience in the political sphere filled the void left by Bucaram, as the poor suddenly had a new populist leader to support. Noboa used his pe rsonal wealth to travel throughout the country, giving away food, fl our, t-shirts and medicine. As Noboa gained support of mostly poor, alienated voters, the political elite of the country feared a return of Bucaram into a position of power. Therefore, in an extremely unusual occurrenc e, coastal business elites looked to support a candidate from the highlands. Rare ly in Ecuadorian history have elites from the highland and coas tal regions agreed to support a single candidate. The coastal elites threw their support behi nd Mahuad, due to the damage Bucarams presidency did to the view of the countrys stability. In additi on, with no practical experience in politics and no real ideol ogical platform, Noboa seemed unqualified to govern a country in the midst of severe economic, financial and political problems. Mahuad and Noboa passed into the second round with significantly more support than any of the other candidates. In the second round another surprise occurred, as Noboa abruptly severed ties with the PRE and its political machinery. While Noboa claimed that he had planned to do so all along, the PRE contradicted him by saying that Noboa c ould not have passed into the second round without the support of the PRE. Many people beli eved that a personal rift had occurred between Noboa and Bucaram. Bucaram insisted on complete
104 authority within his political party, and Noboa was attempting to take more control. When Bucaram wouldnt c ede any power within the party, Noboa responded by ending all connections with t he PRE and creating his own political party, called the Partido Renovador Institucional Accin Nacional (PRIAN). Therefore, Bucaram became opposed to Noboa. Some analysts claim that this split cost him the election. The second round election featured a showdown between two completely distinct politicians. Mahuad represented experience and pragmatism. He had a platform to address some of the deep rooted problems in Ecuador, including inadequate state apparatus, corruption in high levels of government, and continual economic problems. Noboa, on the other hand, represented a rejection of the traditional po litical system and little develope d ideology. Noboas optimistic campaign promised the voters an impr oved quality of life, but offered few practical ideas as to how that would occur. Both of these politicians represented a variation of a presidency Ecuador had seen before. Noboa followed in Bucarams footsteps, using populism and clientelism to win the loyalty of citizens. Ecuador has often had politicians use this approach, which has been widely successful. In contrast, Mahuad represented traditional politics, but came from a political par ty with a somewhat solid reputation. Mahuad had proven himsel f to be a capable administrator of Quito, and had the proper credentials to rule the count ry at the time of crisis.
105 After the near collapse of the government under Bucaram, the country wanted a president that had preparation for the difficult road ahead. Mahuad beat Noboa in a closely contes ted race, with only 200,000 votes separating the two candidates (OAS 1998) Noboa vigorously protested the results, claiming fraud gave M ahuad the victory. Internati onal election monitoring groups, including The Organization of Amer ican States, continued to verify that Mahuad fairly won the elections. As Noboa claimed the elections were stolen from him by a conspiracy of Ecuadors elites to allow Mahuads presidency, Mahuad was inaugurated in August 1998. The second round of 1998 clearly shows the ideological swing back towards a career politician and away fr om a neophyte outsider after a chaotic and unsuccessful populist presidency wit h Bucaram. The population once again decided to place their trust in a polit ical party and a president with intimate contacts with government. The population gave the DP 33 seats in Congress, another important victory for Mahuad, as he would have collaborators in Congress. Mahuad came to national prominence firs tly by his mayorship of Quito, and then by taking a leadership role against a fairly elected president that had lost legitimacy in the eyes of the peopl e. By supporting Bucarams ouster, Mahuad gained important respect in the po litical sphere. 1998 was the first time in 10 years Ecuadorians had chosen a pres ident from an established political party. Finally, Mahuad represent ed the true theory behind polit ical parties, as the
106 party chose Mahuad to run under the par ty banner. Mahuad played an important role in his party, but did not dominate it absolutely, a rarity in Ecuadorian politics. Economic Collapse and January 21, 2000 Mahuad, who came into power with an impressive 33 members of his political party in Congress, hoped to modernize Ecuadors political system. Almost immediately after entering office in August, 1998, Ecuador came to the verge of war with Peru over a boundary dispute that had existed since 1942. Ecuador had fought three wars with Peru over this territory, incl uding a conflict in 1995 which cost Ecuador a significant amount of revenue and saw dozens of soldiers killed. Mahuad and his counterpart, Peruvian Alberto Fujimori, came to a peace treaty that favored Peru, but included concessions to Ecuador. The immediacy of addressing a potentia l border confrontation diverted important attention away from the ec onomic front. As the peace treaty finally came into effect, Ecuador was hit with anot her wave of serious problems, this time on the economic front. Due to a global overproduction of o il, the price of a barrel of petroleum (Ecuadors main expor t) had dropped to $8-9 a barrel. With the Ecuadorian budget based on a price of between $17-22, Ecuador suffered from a huge decrease in state revenue. In addition, the El Nio phenomenon, warm water current that im pacts global temperature and climate, hit Ecuador in 1998. While El Nio generally harms Ecuadors agricultural crops and infrastructure, this year the storm caused enormous damage to the countrys exports, roads, and residencies. Millions of dollars of export crops were
107 completely destroyed, which further hur t the country and it s economy. All of these problems resulted in increases in the inflation rate, as the sucre, the national currency, began to weaken. 1999 was one of Ecuadors worst years in the economic history of the country. In the beginning of March, t he currency began to rapidly lose value against the dollar. To avoid capital flight which would result in the bankruptcy of several banks and to avert hyperinflati on, Mahuad declared a bank holiday in March, as banks closed for over a week Widespread protests erupted as the administrations economic team decided to freeze saving accounts to keep banks solvent. In addition, Mahuad a ttempted to raise the prices of gasoline within the country to help cut the budget deficit. A fter facing protests and marches that nearly brought the country to a standsti ll, Mahuad relented on his gasoline price increases and compromised over whic h accounts would be frozen and which accounts people would have access to. As Mahuad struggled to meet with all of the austerity measures required by international financial institutions in order to keep Ecuador s lines of credit open, he faced another angry se gment of the population t hat had felt betrayed and abandoned by the government. The indi genous social movement, CONAIE, sponsored several uprisings against M ahuad and his government in protest of cuts in subsidies for basic needs, increases in the cost of living, and inflation that impacted the entire population but particularly hurt the poor.
108 The banking and financial sector suffered severely from increased inflation and decreased economic stability. The gover nment attempted to bail out several failing banks and spent billions of dollars in trying to keep the banking system solvent, but currency continued to sli de and several large banks went bankrupt. Not just the result of ma croeconomic factors, the banking crisis also revolved around unethical banking practices. Many of the high level staff of large banks left the country with millions of dollars of Ecuadorians money while the bank slid into bankruptcy. Particularly devastating was the bankruptcy of The Banco del Progreso Guayaquils largest bank, which st ill closed after the government bailed the bank out and spent over $1 billi on. In September, Ecuador became the first country in history to default on it s Brady Bonds and the economic forecast went from bad to worse. After losing almost two thirds of its va lue in 1999, the sucre lost over 30% of its value in the first week of J anuary 2000. The country was on the verge of approaching hyperinflation, and Mahuads approval rating continued to plummet as the population saw him as an incapable administrator to handle these severe problems. Mahuads focused on avoiding a bout of hyperinflation which would ruin the country. Hyperinflation hadnt occu rred in Ecuador to this point, but other countries such as Argentina and Bolivia had suffered harshly from its disastrous effect on the economy and the cost of living. As the currency continued to slide, more information became public about the sources of funding for Mahuads campaign. The 1998 elections brought
109 expenses to a new level in Ecuador. D ue to the fact that the country had not established a legal campaign spending lim it and Alvaro Noboa also had unlimited funds at his disposal, Mahuad needed to ra ise a significant amount of money to remain competitive in the elections Mahuad and Noboa each spent an estimated $15-18 million dollars in the election season. A further blow to Mahuads legitimacy occurred when a reporter br oke the news that Mahuad had received over $3 million for his campaign from Fernando Aspiazu, president of the now bankrupt Banco del Progreso. Mahuads gover nment spent over $1 billion in its attempt to bail out this bank, but all of the depositors lost t heir money. After the bank failed, Aspiazu left the country with m illions of dollars and did not face any consequences for his action. Mahuad had staked his reputation on honesty and transparency, and had been a strong opponent to corruption. This startling fact became an additional betrayal of the people by Mahuad and his political class. Due to the accusations of corrupti on against Mahuad and outrage at the drastic devaluation of t he currency, CONAIE and ot her sectors called for a national strike beginning on January 10, 2000. Mahuad shocked the country with his decree on January 9. He decided to follow a drastic, untested path, as he used his executive power to abandon t he national currency and adopt the American dollar as Ecuadors legal currency. This took the country by complete surprise, as he had not elaborated on a plan such as this in public. Ecuador became the first country in Latin America to fully dollarize the economy, and it did so in a time of economic meltdown. Mahuad pegged the value of the sucre at
110 25,000 sucres per dollar. Mahuads presidency had begun 16 months ago with an exchange rate of 5,500 sucres per do llar. Under his watch, the national currency had lost almost 80% of its value. In addition, dollarization meant the lo ss of any control over fiscal policy and adopting a foreign currency. This angered many Ecuadorians, but the tremendous impact of the high exchange ra te made life savings disappear and decreased the purchasing power of salaries instantly. Particularly hard hit were the poor, who had not been able to purchase dollars in times of crisis and found their meager salaries suddenly not suffi cient for even the most basic of all expenses. CONAIE was outraged at this undemocratic decision and the lack of consultation with the public to implement a national program such as this. They declared their intention to march to Quit o with the goal of forcing Mahuad out of office. The trajectory of Ecuadorian politics would change forever on January 21, 2000, when a sector of t he military, combined with CONAIE, ousted a fairly elected, constitutionally legitimate pr esident from the pr esidential post. CONAIE, represented by leader An tonio Vargas, formed an unusual alliance with a sector of the Ecuadori an military. Though from a distance, the collaboration of the military and an indigenous social movement seems odd, the Ecuadorian military has a much different tradition and reputat ion from other militaries in the continent. Widely seen as one of the most respected institutions
111 in the country, the m ilitary had historically played an important role as a mediator between civilian groups in time s of political crisis. Due to goals of national integration of all of Ecuadors different regions, members of the military have ofte n been stationed in areas with strong concentrations of indigenous people in Ecuadors highlands and Amazon region. A large component of the ac tive military comes from families with indigenous roots, as the military is often formed of those coming from lower classes that have few other professional options. In addition, the military and indigenous warriors fought together against the Peru vians during border disputes. The militarys outrage with the incapacity of civilian gov ernments and their call to defend the integrity and honor of their hom eland has led to resistance against democratically elected presidents who ar e seen as abusing the power of the post they occupy. After occupying the congressional building with a peoples congress claiming to represent the true will of the country, thousands of indigenous citizens protested outside the presi dential palace and in other places across the country. The military informed Presi dent Mahuad that they would no longer guarantee his safety, and advised him to leave the pres idential palace. As Mahuads location was unknown, a new junta appeared in the presidential palace, claiming to be the new junta of national salvation that would truly represent the will and desire of the people. Appearing on the balcony were An tonio Vargas of CONAIE, Carlos Solorzano, a former supreme court just ice, and Colonel Lucio Gutirrez, who
112 represented a sector of the military that suppor ted Mahuads ouster and advocated for a government that list ened to the needs and desires of the population. Gutirrez found himself in t he national spotlight, as he spoke of a peaceful revolution that would create a government that addre ssed the desperate needs of Ecuadors indigenous citizens and its impoverished population. Gutirrez claimed that he was not doing this out of self interest and had no desire to take over power, but felt obligated to take action against a government that had abused its power and implemented pai nful austerity measure that impoverished more of the population. In addition, he rallied against dollarization, lamenting at the loss of national sove reignty and claiming the exchange rate was unreasonably high for most Ecuadorians. This peaceful overthrow (referred to as a bloodless coup) gained much respect from the population. As the night wore on, Gutirrez wa s forced to allow General Carlos Mendoza to take his place in the junta. The military, intent on not appearing as fragmented, needed someone with a higher rank to represent the institution. After communications from many nations and in ternational organizations, including threats by the United States for an embargo against Ecuador, Mendoza withdrew the militarys support of t he junta, declaring that Mahuads Vice President Gustavo Noboa (no relation to Alvaro Nobo a) should occupy the presidency. As the international community condem ned the undemocratic removal of Mahuad and several groups began to protest the unconstitutional dismissal of power, Noboa came to Quito to begin his interim pr esidency in a time of political uproar
113 and instability. Noboa, with the support of the legislature and t he military, became president until Mahuads term ended in 2002. The Peoples Congress and the junta onl y held power for a few hours. Yet, this uprising of mainly indigenous citiz ens against the established traditional politicians and their success in peacefully overthrowing the government marked a new moment in Ecuadors democratic hist ory. CONAIE taught the country that they were unwilling to sit on the sidelines any longer as president after president ignored their needs and implemented unpop ular and impoverishing austerity measures. This episode brought up a wi der question of grass roots democracy and how it works in Latin Amer ica. When a freely, fairly elected president has lost legitimacy and the population rises up against hi m and overthrows him, is this the ultimate expression of democracy, or an condemnable undemocratic action? In Ecuadors case, the military and CO NAIE became the protagonists for overthrowing a widely unpopular presi dent. Though many disagreed with the tactics used, few were sad to see M ahuad leave his office. CONAIE had entered institutional politics in the constitutiona l and legal way with its political party Pachakutik. They had logged their protes ts within the system peacefully. When this failed to make adequate changes, CO NAIE resorted to disrupting the countrys roads and staging general st rikes and marches when the system did not give them the adequate channels to vo ice their grievances and concerns about the direction of the government and the decisions it was making.
114 Gutirrez became a household name after this episode. His obvious attention to the concerns of common Ecuad orians came through in his image of a frustrated citizen defending his country against corrupt politicians who were willing to hurt the country for personal profit. The Disappearance of a Party Mahuad came into the presidency wit h a strong academic and political background and a promised to update the political system. He left behind a country with a currency valued at 1/5 of the value when he entered, a drastic decision to abandon the national currency by decree, a banking system in ruins, 26 bankrupt banking entities, millions of dollars of frozen deposits, and Latin Americas first successful indigenous upris ing that resulted in a regime change. The DP watched their party go from national prominence to becoming responsible for Ecuadors economic melt down. It began with Mahuads ouster and continued in July of 2000 as 12 legi slators split off and formed their own Movement of International Integration (MIN). In A ugust of 2001, long time DP supporter, ex president, and 2002 pres idential candidate Osvaldo Hurtado abandoned the party, along with another group of legislators. The DP forms a stark example of how an unsuccessful administration can completely destroy a political party t hat spent decades establishing roots in society. In addition, this also highlights the impor tance of the presidential candidates that these parties choose. Winning a presidency and having that candidate lose legitimacy can easily be deat h for a political party. Members of the
115 party will quickly abandon the unpopular nam e or stigma around an unsuccessful candidate.
116 CHAPTER FIVE 2002 AND THE TR IUMPH OF OUTSIDERS The International Republican Institute (IRI), one of the three international organizations monitoring the 2002 elec tions, highlighted its importance.7 In its initial report, the IRI emphas ized the volatile political and economic environment in Latin America. While Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru experienced profound political problems, Argentina and Uruguay suffered from financ ial crises. Brazil recently received the largest IMF loan package in history to avert a financial meltdown. Though the Ecuadorian si tuation had not commanded media attention, the IRI asserted that the 2002 elections were important to Ecuador and the entire Andean region. Due to the fact that Ecu ador has had six presidents since 1996 and neither of t he last two democratically elected presidents has survived their terms, this election was a significant test of the strength of Ecuadors democracy. In the late 1990s, t he financial crisis that devastated the country led to a political crisis t hat ended the term of presidential Mahuad. Though the country has stabilized somewhat after dollarization, Ecuador still 7 The International Republican Institute, the Organization of American States, and the European Union all participated in elections observations. The IR I released three pre-election reports. Report #1 covered a period from July 17-24, 2002, Report #2 covered a period from August 18-24, 2002. Report #3 covered a period from September 12-22, 2002.
117 faced serious economic and political problems, such as rising costs of living, low salaries, and unemployment and underem ployment (IRI Report 1:2-3). The 2002 elections arrived during a time of economic adjustments that were necessary due, in part, to its new cu rrency, the United States dollar. Interim President Gustavo Noboa rejected the idea of running for president in the 2002 elections. The country hoped a new presi dent could help continue the fragile stability obtained under Noboas watch, and proceed to strengthen democratic institutions and responsibl y address the economic realit y of the country. Noboa took power in a situation of crisis and was able to continue the process of dollarization of the Ecuadorian economy. Af ter several months of using both the sucre and the dollar, the country stopped using Ecuadorian currency in March of 2001. Noboa managed to finish his term wit hout any major scandals. He was credited with preventing the country from falling into anarchy in January 2000 and for stabilizing the country economic ally by continuing the process of dollarization. In 2002, for the first time in Ecuadorian history, the Tribuno Supremo Electoral (TSE) established spending limits fo r presidential campaigns. After the 1998 elections, where both Alvaro Noboa and Jamil Mahuad spent an estimated $12-15 million each on the campaign, t he TSE decided to create and implement spending limits. It set the fine for exceeding spending limi ts at twice the amount of the excess. The limits, low by many countrys standards, were set at
118 $1,139,882 for the first round and $227,976 for the second round. Though the TSE had little legal backing to enforce th is rule and candidates with personal fortunes could easily overspend, this was a first attempt at controlling spending of candidates. After the scandal in 2000, where banker Fernando Aspiazu donated over three million dollars to Presi dent Jamil Mahuads campaign, the TSE attempted to create more accountabilit y and establish a realistic base for campaign spending (OAS final report, 2002:21-22). Like many other times in Ecuador s history, this campaign was overshadowed by the events that ended the previously elected presidents rule. Ecuadors indigenous groups demonstrated their willingness and capacity to overthrow a democratically elected governm ent that did not listen to the desires of the electorate and integrate the unique n eeds of the indigenous population into government. In addition, Mahuads deep connec tions with the institutions of government further alienat ed the population fr om the traditiona l parties. Outrage about white collar crime, corruption at hi gh levels of government, and the exodus of bankers who had stolen the money of depositors before their banks went bankrupt and had then escaped to the United States and other countries became a key issue in this election. The population demanded acc ountability for these men. They wanted these cr iminals extradited and brought to Ecuador to stand trial. The Organization of American States st ated that the election season was characterized by strong voter apathy (especially in large urban centers) and a
119 loss of credibility by political parties. As the left, right, outsider politicians, populists, and well trained public adminis trators had all struggled through their terms in office (or in the case of Bucaram and Mahuad, had been removed from office after a short time), the population hesitated to place their trust in any politician. By August 4th, less than 80 days before the election began, 89% of the population was undecided about the c andidate they would support ( Indecisin electoral August 5, 2002). The OAS highlighted one of the main reasons for this apathy as the lack of leadership and persona lities that captured the attention of the voters. In addition, political parties faced additi onal disapproval due to their failure to cooperate in the legislature and bu ild coalitions necessary to create and implement programs that addressed the socioeconomic demands of the people. Particularly in a time when traditi onal politics had been delegitimized and overthrown by a coalition of the excl uded, this election seemed to have space available for a new series of leaders, movements and parties that attempted to capture the electorate with thei r discourse condemning corruption and established political partie s and politicians (OAS 2002:49). All three international observation or ganizations highlighted the complexity of these particular elections. The first r ound of the presidential voting coincided with Congressional elections for the entir e unicameral congress (100 seats), 67 provincial council members, 677 municipa l council members, and, for the first time in history, five representatives to the newly formed A ndean Parliament (IRI
120 Report 1:3). Therefore, though much attention remained on the presidential race, the Ecuadorian electorate also was responsible for electing a completely new legislature and important municipal and regional posts. Potential Candidates and Speculation Presidential candidates had until August 20th to register with the TSE. The tradition of running tickets with a presidential candidate from the coast and vice presidential candidate from t he highlands (or vice versa) continued, highlighting the continued importance of regionalism. Alvaro Noboa began campaigning actively for the 2002 elections soon a fter his narrow defeat in 1998. Noboa used his personal wealth to give away shoes, boots, clothes, food, and other items, in an attempt to gain voter loyalty. Without the Partido Roldsista Ecuatoriana (PRE) party banner, Noboa worked to establish the Partido Renovador Institucional Accin Nacional (PRIAN) and created a disci plined following that would support him in the presidential elections and his partys candidates for legislature. According to the Inter national Republican Inst itute, Noboa enjoyed wide support before the official beginni ng of the campaign, with public opinion polls placing him easily in first place. In addition, Len Febres Cordero, fo rmer president from 1984-1988 and mayor of Guayaquil from 1992-2000, found tremendous s upport (particularly in the coastal region) for a presidential ca mpaign. His admirable job as mayor of Ecuadors largest city gave him credibility as a no-nonsense, assertive, effective leader who completed public projects that benefited the ent ire region. Many
121 analysts saw Febres Cordero as a shooin second round candidate in the presidential elections, and some even clai med that he had a strong chance at winning (IRI Report 1, 2002:10). On July 23rd, after traveling to Miami for medical appointments, Febres Cordero announced t hat he would not be a candidate for president, due to medical restrictions. Febres Cordero endorsed the Partido Socialcristiano (PSC) candidate, Xavier Neir a, who he claimed possessed, integrity, capacity, decis iveness and the loyalty necessary to achieve positive results for the people, changing for the bette r the quality of life of all Ecuadorians and especially the poorest. (Febres Cordero, 2002) Preliminary analysts asserted that th is election could end with many surprises, as the population seemed parti cularly alienated from traditional political parties. In fact, many seemed apathetic about elections in general. Two former presidents were also potential candidates--Rodrigo Borja from the Izquierda Democrtica (ID) and Osvaldo Hurtado, fo rmerly a member of the now defunct Democrcia Popular (DP), party of ex-presi dent Jamil Mahuad. ExColonel and coup leader Lucio Gutirre z also became a potential presidential candidate, running under the political or ganization he created, the, la Sociedad Patritica 21 de enero (PSP). (IRI Report 1, 2002:7-8) As of August 6th, 2002, not a single presidentia l team (president and vice president) had inscribed in the TSE. By August 20th, 11 candidates had met legal requirements for the presidential campai gn. The candidates consisted of a wide variety of political insiders and outsiders. Two ex-presidents ran, Rodrigo Borja
122 and Osvaldo Hurtado. Abdal Bucarams brother, Jacobo Bucaram, ran under the PRE banner. Len Rolds, nephew of dec eased ex-president Jaime Rolds ran as an independent candidate. In addition other candidates expected to run turned in their petitions. Noboa ran, and so did two of the three junta members from January 21st, 2000, Ex-Colonel Lucio Guti rrez and Antonio Vargas. In addition, several other candidates from minor parties joined the campaign. In this round, two common characteri stics of the election made results so unpredictable: Firstly, the presence of 11 candidates fractionaliz ed the vote, so a low number of votes could pass someone into the second round. In this election, no clear frontrunners emerged. Secondly, wi th mandatory voting, candidates with charisma and personality could attract large groups of voters. While political party machines jumped into the campaigns to promote their candidates, the general disillusion with political par ties and their empty prom ises created an uphill battle for party candidates.8 Six candidates quickly jumped to the field of serious contenders. By looking briefly at each of these candidates, their biographies, party affiliations, ideological platforms, and connection with tr aditional politics, one can learn about the current political situation in Ecuador, and the electorates personal feelings towards democracy, institutions, and personalism. 8 Both of the characteristics have been common in Ecuadorian po litics, as presidential cont ests have often had anywhere between six-twelve candidates. This electi on, in particular, saw an electorate mo re isolated than ever from traditional political parties, due to the economic crisis during the Mahuad years, and the accusations of corruption against his government.
123 Alvaro Noboa, the Businessman and Rich Benefactor Alvaro Noboa Pontn is a 52 year old from Guayaquil. Educated as a lawyer, he is Ecuadors most promi nent businessman. Worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Noboa inherited much of his wealth, and has continued to enrich himself through banana exportation. He also owns the countrys flour mills. His only political experience was as the president of the Junta Monetaria during Bucarams short lived presidency. Finally he served as the PREs presidential candidate in 1998. Noboas support came from the banana growing provinces of the coast, and his campaign centered in Guayaquil. His candidacy and his political party attempted to create a new base of power in the coastal area. After the self-exile of Bucaram, Noboa had the opportunity to become a new personalistic, populist coastal leader. Noboas has not demonstrated any other po litical interests except to serve as the presi dent of the republic. Noboa claimed the support and loyalt y of Ecuadors poorest. He had been targeting the poor in coastal province s since his loss in the 1998 presidential elections. As he toured the country in hi s trademark vehicle, his yellow Jeep Wrangler, he often used rhetor ic constructing himself as the only candidate who could help the country out of its economic decline. It is important to clarify that Noboa, as a much more visible and well funded alternative to Abdal Bucaram, was attempting to replace Bucaram as the savior of the poor. His lack of politic al experience made him a leader with no
124 strikes against him. Though he hadnt proven himself as a politician, he did not have any political scandals or failures in his past. Common wisdo m stated that if Noboa could create and manage a profitable and thriving private business, he could bring some of those skills in to running a government. Noboa himself claimed that his achievements in the in ternational economy and his extensive business contacts could help Ecuador out of its precarious financ ial situation. The Partido Renovador Instit ucional Accin Nacional (PRIAN) as a political party has little, if any ideol ogical development. Noboa claims that he is the great representative of the people that will solve t heir problems. The PRIANs main role is to support Noboas image of benevolent patrn An electoral vehicle, the party does not have deep roots in so ciety, only raising support during the presidential campaign via populist gesture s. Like its founder, PRIAN has not presented a coherent ideologi cal position and is likely to act in an opportunist fashion in the 2002-06 Congress. The process of nominating Noboa as presidential candidate for the PRIAN showed the personalistic nature of the par ty. While Noboa was in New York on business, the first assembly of the PRIA N met in Guayaquil for the sole purpose of ratifying Noboas candidacy. No other potential names of candidates were mentioned (Ronquillo, 2002). On August 1st Noboa hinted that he might not be a candidate for the 2002 elections, as he cl aimed that traditional politicians had started a campaign against him and had ch anged the dates of registration to personally damage him. ( Alvaro Noboa August 11, 2002)
125 Noboa claimed that the ke y to economic growth was using the funds from Ecuadors largest export, oil, to implement social service programs for Ecuadors poorest citizens. Noboas four years of campaigning in Guayaquil, and establishing himself as the rich benefacto r of the poor, greatly contributed to the development of his image. He and his wif e, an attractive doctor, used their personal wealth to give away medicines, t-shirts, and even flour from the state flour company he owned. He set up sites for people to come and apply for jobs that would be created if he were elected president. Noboas close second place finish behind Mahuad in the 1998 elections, claims of election fraud, and Mahuads dism al performance in office gave Noboa credibility to attack Mahuads presiden cy and the established system. After Ecuadors financial meltdown, Noboa ident ified himself as a businessman who has a proven track record with responsible administration of a private business. Noboa claimed that t he Ecuadorian state needed so meone who understood the important financial m anagement and budgetary aspects of government. Noboas campaign attacked not only tradi tional political parties, but also other personalist candidates. His familiar, blatantly populist rhetoric, effective use of clientelism and self ident ification as champion of the people attracted many followers. His unlimited per sonal campaign funds, combined with the lack of necessity to form any alliances for monetary reasons, m ade him an almost completely independent from any par ty, organization, or ideology.
126 Noboas, and therefore, the PRIANs resistance towards coalitions became clear in interviews. When asked what kind of cooper ative agreements he would form with other parti es and leaders if he passed into the second round, he stated that he didnt believe in alliances. He said, The people vote for who they want to. The people who are with the PRE, who voted for me in both rounds in 1998, the people who are with Colonel Gu tirrez are going to vote for me, because Gutirrez wants change too, and the only difference is the way we are proposing the change, many people who vot ed for Jacinto Velazquez are going to vote for me, and a huge part of the PSC is going to vote for me. (Almedia, Palacio and Febres Cordero, 2002a). By stating this, Noboa doesnt acknowledge any necessary coalition building or concessions to win these votes. This concentration of power and oppos ition to alliances shows Noboas belief in personal power. While alliance building is crucial in the Ecuadorian congress, Noboa dismissed the concept completely. The PRIAN was developed to be subordinate to his personal desires His party could not exercise any control over him. Noboas party was not predicted to be a major winner in the legislative elections, and it had no desire to build alliances that would allow him to rule effectively. Ther efore, the vagueness about how he would rule if elected continued. Many people speculated that Noboa wo uld quickly begin to sell off state apparatus, which would please internati onal lenders. Yet, some analysts also believed he would use his power and acce ss to these industries as president to
127 enrich his own personal empire. In respons e to that question, Noboa stated, I will differentiate what is mine and what is the States. (A lmedia, Palacio and Febres Cordero, 2002a). He claimed that the main difference between managing a private business and a government is that the state is regulated by laws that he is obligated to obey, and he can do w hatever he wants with his personal holdings. Noboas net worth established the perception that he would not be involved in corruption scandals (as have the last two presidents and the 1992 vice president) simply because of his co mfortable financial situation. The logic went that Noboa did not need to steal m oney from the state, because he was already worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Noboas opposition to Mahuad preceded Mahuads loss of legitimacy and eventual dismissal from power. He clai med in his campaign that he had warned the country of the trouble in trusting Mahuad and the es tablished politicians, and the country did in fact ent er Ecuadors worst financial cr isis in decades. Though it is impossible to know if another president had been in power the same crisis would have occurred, Noboa had the opportunity and credibility to assert that the situation would have been diffe rent with him in power. His break from the PRE and ex-president Abdal Bucaram forc ed him to establish a candidacy and political party based on his own name. Noboas main proposals of his gov ernment addressed five areas: delinquency, agriculture, investment, co rruption, and health In the area of
128 agriculture, Noboa promised that he woul d increase agricultural production by between 30% and 40% in the first year. He w ould also extend credit to farmers in order for them to buy necessary tools. To stimulate invest ment, he would create special tax breaks for foreigners and Ecuadorians interested in creating new businesses. He planned to control co rruption by develop ing transparency in public funds, where people would have access to know how money was spent. Finally, he wanted to establish a National Health Plan, which would consist of planning, promotion, preventi on, healing and rehabilitation. Noboas close loss in 1998 gave him t he legitimacy to attack both Jamil Mahuad personally and the polit ical system as a whole. His accusations of fraud in the 1998 elections faulted the traditiona l political parties for conspiring against him and giving the presidency to Mahuad. As Mahuads administration ended with a historically profo und economic crisis, the polit ical system that supported his candidacy (including several establis hed political parties) suffered heavily. Therefore, Noboa became one of several candidates with a legitimate right to attack the political parties that suppor ted Mahuads mandate. Strong opposition to the incumbent government gave Noboa solid footing for a campaign based on a new type of government with a new stru cture. His lack of experience in the political arena meant that Noboa has co mmitted no major errors, had no political scandals, and no governmental failure s to negatively impact his image.
129 Lucio Gutirrez, the Military Coupster Lucio Gutirrez Borba shot onto the national spotlight on January 21, 2000, for his role in the peaceful uprising that resulted in the removal of thenpresident Jamil Mahuad from office. Gu tirrez, 45, was educated as a civil engineer. He has spent nearly all of his professional life in the Armed Forces, and finished his career as a Colonel. He resigned from the Armed Forces after being imprisoned for six months due to his role in the overthrow of President Mahuad. Doubts arose if Gutirrez was legally el igible to postulate in 2000. Article five of the Constitution states that, Those that hav e held power in a de facto government, described in numeral 4 of the 101 section of the constitution, cant be candidates. Gutirrez successfully argued that he never held power, due to the fact that the junt a never became constitutionally recognized. ( Dudas sobre Gutirrez July 24, 2002) Gutirrez decided to become involved in the political arena after he was released from prison and received amnesty for his participation in the January 2000 events. A non-politician, Gutirrez saw himself as an educator and advocate for change in a system plagu ed by corruption and increasing irrelevance to the population. Many of his s upporters told him that if he wanted to make a real change, he needed to become involved in politics at a high level. His desire to provide a venue for the needs and demands of the population is what pushed him into the political arena. Guti rrez soon gained the support of a power
130 ally, Pachakuitk, a political party linked to CONAIE that advocated for the needs of indigenous peoples in Congress. In addi tion, CONAIE and other leftists groups threw their backing behind Gutirrez. The endorsement by CONAIE and other important leaders in the i ndigenous sector gave Guti rrez a numerically large, politically active support group. Pachak utiks endorsement gave him legitimacy in the eyes ofto the often marginaliz ed indigenous population, who make up between 25-40% of Ecuadors eligible voters. Indigenous citizens had been exercising their right to vo te more now then ever bef ore, and Gutirrez was one of the only candidates that was at tractive to this population. Gutirrez campaign addressed not only the needs of the indigenous Ecuadorian peoples, but also other gr oups who had been al ienated from the political system. Due to his role in Mahuads overthrow, Gutirrez gained a respect among non indigenous citizens opposed to the general direction of government. In addition, The Armed Fo rces, one of the most respected institutions in the country, was s een as defending national honor, playing a critical role in negotiating civilian disput es during times of political upheaval, and as not being involved in corruption. Gu tirrez willingness to step down as a member of the junta, combined with hi s appeals for a peaceful transition of government, gave him legitimacy in the eyes of many. Gutirrez claimed if he becomes president, it would be a historic opportunity for the country to address deep cleavages in Ecuadors society. He had significant support fr om the masses of marginalized and excluded
131 Ecuadorians. He asserted that these citi zens were the same people who often bring the country to a standstill with stri kes and uprisings, so he could use his presidency to help create a mutual rela tionship and work constructively with those who lead and plan marches, strikes and protests. His professional sacrifice for his part icipation in the upr ising combined with his determination to keep the confrontat ion from becoming violent made him a distinct and appealing candidate. Guti rrez did not use the stage on January 21st to make a personal push for power, but portrayed a genui ne interest in ousting a president that had lost legitimacy among t he vast majority of Ecuadorians. The dollarization of the country, combined with an enormous loss in the purchasing power of the sucre, negatively impacted the economic situation of nearly every economic class. As Mahuad made the radi cal decision to dollarize by decree after permitting the extreme devaluation of the currency, the electorate became more alienated than ever with the politic al system and political parties. Neither the president nor congress brought the i dea of dollarization to the people to approve or reject; it was imposed on t he country, which made many citizens furious. Guiterrez capitalized on his image as a frustrated Ecuadorian whose interest was in creating a democracy that serves the needs of the population. In addition, his lack of experience in politics, and his lack of connection with political parties and organizations gave him an im age as a responsible, incorruptible leader, intent on assisting progress for the country. His m ilitary training gave
132 discipline, love of country, and a sens e of honor in his candidacy. Gutirrez created an image as a man running for president in order to serve the country as opposed to doing so for personal reasons; this gave him a platform based on putting the country first before individual needs. Gutirrezs created his ow n political party, the Sociedad Patritica 21 de Enero (PSP). This party was brand new and has not had much ideological development, nor did anyone expect the party to play a significant role in congress. Gutirrez himself downplays the role of his political party in his campaign. His rhetoric m ade him popular with many peopl e. When talking about his political party and his plans of refo rm, he clearly establishes himself as an outsider who places priority on the c ountry as a whole before any special interest. He claims that allegiance is to, God, my conscience and the Ecuadorian people. Its not even with the PSP [Gutirre z own political party]. (Almedia, Palacio and Febres Cordero, 2002b) Guiterrez was asked about the concept of a leftist military leader. He answered that, While I feel very comf ortable being supported by movements of leftist ideology, I define myself as a nat ionalist that deeply loves Ecuador, as an individual that isnt so much dogmatic as pragmatic, that wants to change everything to benefit Ecuadorians. The enem y of Ecuador isnt the left or the right; it is poverty, illiteracy and the lack of competition. When asked why he went from a military to a political career, he answe red, [The Armed Forces] taught me that I have to defend the count ry, the truth, and to fight against
133 corruption: that a milit ary person is at the service of so ciety, so I did this [entered the political arena]. (Almedia, Pa lacio and Febres Cordero, 2002b) The former Colonel was also asked about his role in the uprising of 2000. Due to his role in overthrowing a democratically elected government, the interviewers asked what Gutirrez would do if he were elected president and in a similar situation as Mahuad. He responded by saying, If I commit the same errors [that prompted a c oup detat against Jamil Mahua d], they shouldnt stop with just overthrowing me, they should sh oot me. (Almedia, Palacio and Febres Cordero, 2002b) He claimed t hat his participation in the uprising wasnt focused on obtaining personal power, but on preventing the count ry from sliding into chaos. His campaign platform focused on st rong measures combating corruption. Firstly, Gutirrez insisted in requesting the extradition of whit e collar criminals who escaped with depositors funds fr om Ecuadors bankrupt banks. Many corrupt bankers fled the country with millio ns of dollars, while the Ecuadorian government spent over a billion dollars to bail the banks out. Gutirrez then wanted to try them in Ecuador on corrupt ion charges with long sentences. He wanted to name independent j udges (with no connection to political parties) and wanted to create a fourth branch of t he government to control and justify government expenses and actions. In additi on, he advocated drastically reducing the number of Congressmen, claiming that many of them ar ent efficient and
134 dont do their job. Finally, he wanted to redu ce the number of political parties to create a climate more c onducive to governability. ( Lucio Gutirrez July 30, 2002) In financial terms, while condemni ng dollarization as a painful and damaging inheritance, Gutirrez emphas ized the importance of a strong currency. Seeing dollarization as an irreve rsible process, Gutirrez hoped to strengthen it so that devaluations of currency dont negatively impact the countrys business environment. Later, he hoped for reasonable, self-sustaining public finances. Eventually, he would like to remove the presidents power to allocate money. In addition, Gutirrez sa w competitiveness as an important goal for the financial heal th of the country. He believed in the possibility of r enegotiating Ecuadors international debt, but not until Ecuador decided to addre ss problems of corruption, banking scandals, control customs, and create an honest government that focuses on the social needs of the country. When that happens, Gutirrez believed the IMF wouldl consider renegotiation. Many credited Gutirrez with avoidi ng bloodshed in the 2000 uprising that ended Mahuads term. In Guti rrez own view, he stated the government was putting the military in a position where a possible confrontation with protestors would occur. Gutirrez and his collaborat ors refused to fire upon the unarmed protestors, and were not willing to ri sk the loss of life to defend Mahuad. Gutirrez embraced the image of a m ilitary leader in the 2002 campaigns. He did the majority of his campaigni ng in military fatigues, emphasizing his
135 successful military career and inevitably re minding the population of his role in the overthrow of Mahuads government. His willingness to take the campai gn out of the traditional geographical sphere also impacted these elections. His torically, campaigns have centered in the largest, most populous cities (Quito and Guayaquil) and also in the two main regions of Ecuador, the coast and the highl ands. Gutirrez took the campaign out of those regions and visited the Amazon, a scarcely populated area of Ecuador, dominated by indigenous tribes. His new approach, in giving special a ttention to the specific concerns of Ecuadors indigenous population, also r epresented a milestone in the country. Gutirrez proved his loyalty to the c auses advocated by CONAIE in January 2000, and advocated not only for more general concerns (such as a rejection of neoliberalism, more equal di vision of wealth, and opposit ion to globalization) but also to specific indigenous needs, such as bilingual educati on and the state of agriculture in Ecuador. Indigenous needs went from the periphery to the center stage and Gutirrez willingness to address them distinguished him from other candidates. His military background and image gave him credibility with nonindigenous Ecuadorians, who respect the in stitution of the armed forces and Gutirrez himself for avoiding bloodshed in the January 21, 2000 coup. In addition, he appealed to an extremely a lienated electorate. Much of these supporters had lost faith in politics, but Gutirrez gave them hope. The
136 indigenous and marginalized populations of Ecuador finally had someone to believe in. Len Rolds, the Independent Len Rolds, claiming to be the citiz ens candidate, never formed his own personal political party as a vehicle for his presid ential run. In a radical move, he refused to align with any po litical party, running as the only true independent in this race. Len Rolds Ag uilero, a 60 year old lawyer from Guayaquil, had much experience in the public eye. He served as secretary of the Municipality of Guayaquil from 1969-1970, president of the Junta monetaria (1979-1981), Vice president of the Republic from 19811984, the Rector of the University of Guayaquil (1992-current ) and a congressman (1998-2002). Rolds, brother of deceased ex-President Len Rolds, brought a high level of experience and training into his campaign. As the rector of the University of Guayaquil, he had made vast improvements to Guayaqui ls largest university, and had the reputation of a serious educational leader in Guayaquil. Rolds was somewhat of a surprise candidate in the campaign, especially to other center-leftists who were preparing campaigns. ( Len Rolds July 23, 2002.) He claimed that if he ran, he would do so withou t party support, but by obtaining the number of necessary signatur es to run as a legally recognized independent candidate and pres enting them to the TSE. Rolds took advantage of the clause in the constitution that allowed independents to run. Because of Rolds refusal to align with a party, he didnt have party machinery at his
137 disposal to obtain signatures, a fact m any analysts saw as a potential problem. Rolds declared his intention to collect signatures without the support or alliance with any political party (A lmedia, Palacio and Febres Cordero, 2002d). Some didnt see this as feasible without t he help of party machinery, but Rolds managed to collect the required signatures for his candidacy. Rolds long political career as a socialist, and his alignment with the Partido Socialista Frente Amplio (PSFA), didnt prevent him from running as an independent candidate. Before Rolds in scribed as a candidate, the socialists had decided to back Gutirrez. By August 10th, the Partido Socialista Ecuatoriano (PSE), withdrew their support of Gutirrez and backed Rolds. ( Socialistas Jule 3, 2002). Additionally, the now irrelevant Democrcia Popular (DP) supported Rolds. Many wondered why Rolds decided to join the campaign, especially at such a late date. He claimed that his desire to have a candidate that was more than a representative of a political party, but a representative of the interests of the country propelled him to candidacy. Though many political parties came out in his support, Rolds continued to cl aim his independence from the parties, stating, I dont want to be a candidat e who is dependent on political parties. I am going to inaugurate a new way to do po litics: to dialogue with everyone. (Almedia, Palacio and F ebres Cordero, 2002d) The ideological similarity between Ro lds and Gutirre z, their mutual rejection of traditional political parties, and their support by the socialists, created
138 an interesting situation. While newspaper s acknowledged that the entrance of Rolds damaged the candidacy of Gutirrez, el Universo reported that Gutirrez was willing to renounce his candidacy if he arrived to an agreement with Rolds. Rolds did not have the charisma or personal appeal that Noboa and Gutirrez did. His reputation as a serious academic and lack of funds prevented him from gaining significant media att ention in the already crowded field. Jacobo Bucaram, the Exiled Ex-Presidents Brother Jacobo Bucaram Ortiz, 55, came from Guayaquil. His academic training was in agronomy. He served in the Congress from 1988-92, 1992-94, and 19962000 as a member of the PRE voting bloc. Among Jacobos most memorable antics was punching Jamil Mahuad during a session of Congress in the early 1990s. In addition, he was a dominant athl ete in Ecuador, participated in the Olympics, founded the Universidad Agraria del Ecuador, and is the current mayor of Milagro, a small town close to Guayaquil. The Partido Roldsista Ecuatoriana (PRE) and Jacobo found their main source of support in the poorer classes in the coastal area, particularly in cities outside of Guayaquil. Abdal Bucaram used over a decade of clientelism to establish a significant organization in coasta l provinces. In previous elections, the PRE was the main party of opposition and n on-alignment with tradi tional political parties, personified in the leadership of A bdal Bucaram. The party was the first widespread populist party in the democr atic era that m anaged to use the antiestablishment message to win an election in 1996.
139 In 2002, the PRE found many other candidates competing for the same base of support. While the PRE had been the voice of excluded Ecuadorians for the past decade, now those alienated from the political system and tired of traditional politics that never seemed to solve any problems found several politicians who included their needs in t heir campaign rhetoric. These included Alvaro Noboa, Lucio Gutirrez, and Len Rolds. Politics was now flooded by personalist, outsider candidates. After t he disastrous presidency of Abdal Bucaram, the PRE has lost some cr edibility with the popular classes. Finally, the PRE has never managed to spread its influence out of the coastal area of Ecuador. In the coast, the PRE faced tough opposition with the PSC (which dominates the city of Guayaquil) and Alvaro Noboas newly established PRIAN. Though the PRE has ha d over a decade to work on creating deeper roots in a wider geographical ar ea, it has failed to do so. Previous discussions of the Partido Roldsista Ecuatoriana have been included in this work. As stated befor e, the PRE was developed to support Abdal Bucarams multiple attempts at winning the presidential post. The PREs relationship with other parties has been gene rally rocky, as the PRE support in congress has been inconsistent, unreliable, and opportunistic. The ideological orientation of the PRE claims to be c enter-left, with an emphasis on the needs of Ecuadors poor. Yet, actions in office by PRE president Abdal Bucaram
140 completely contradicted his campaign promises. Actual evidence has shown PRE policy decisions to be more neoliberal and rightest.9 The party is not institutionalized in any sense of the word. While it has been the only party to compete in each of the last three elections with different candidates, Abdal Bucaram continues to make all major decisions from Panama. Alvaro Noboa used the PRE party machinery in 1998 to pass on to the second round, but quickly abandoned the party in the second round. After much speculation about whether the PRE woul d even field a candidate, Bucarams brother, Jacobo, stepped in for the campaign. The bad blood between Noboa and the PRE carried over into 2002. The Universo claimed that even before the PRE had a c andidate, their campaign strategy centered on critic izing and damaging Alvaro Noboas campaign. More focused on vengeance against Noboa for abandoning the party as opposed to finding a candidate shows the decreasing influence of the PRE. As Abdal Bucaram continued to make all major party decisions from his exile in Panama, the party failed to find a candidate wil ling to stay in party ranks and be subordinated to Abdal Bucaram. Jacobo Bucaram, Abdals little brother, was the only real possibility. It wasnt until days before the inscrip tion deadline that the party chose Jacobo Bucaram as its candidate. The Congr ess, meeting in its home in the exiled leaders Panama, chose Jac obo to pick up the PRE banner. Jacobo 9 See Freidenberg and Alcntara for more information
141 attempted to establish his own political career, stating, I have an image and my own identity. (Almedia, Palacio and Febr es Cordero, 2002c). The interviewers began by asking about the PRE, wondering if it was a party or a dynasty. Jacobo Bucaram claimed that the party fi nds its birth in human reflection and is attractive to many different groups of people. He established the roots of the party in populist Assad Bucaram, idealizi ng the contribution of Assad Bucaram to Ecuador. The interviewers then asked about his late entry into the race. Jacobo asserted that he wanted to wait and try to create a front between different parties and social sectors from the center and c enter left groups. When asked about his personal ideology, Jacobo stated, I have the thoughts of a center-leftist, and my character is social. I don t value my country in money, but in projects and in works completed. (Almedia, Pa lacio and Febres Cordero, 2002c) When asked about his ability to work with other groups, and who would be in his cabinet, Jacobo answers, This country is atomized. I believe in collaborating with all of the political forces that are trying to work on Ecuadors political and economic intere sts. (Almedia, Palacio an d Febres Cordero, 2002c) The interviewers, knowing that the PRE has a longstanding rivalry over control of the coastal vote, ask about working wit h the PSC. Jacobo claimed that he can work with everyone, even the PSC. Jacobos program highlighted four ma in areas: education, the economy, rural areas, and the social sphere. He aimed to prioritize investment in education.
142 Specifically, he wanted to increase state investment in the development and the transference of technology. In the economic realm, he hoped to develop an antimonopoly law, which should stimul ate honest competition. He also highlighted the importance of recuperating confidence in the banking system by establishing stricter cont rols of banks and lowering interest rates. In rural Ecuador, he sought to establish housing programs, which should reduce the levels of migration and create incentives fo r farmers to stay in Ecuador. Finally, in the social area, Jacobo focused on improvi ng nutrition. He also wanted to start a breakfast program at schools and estab lish public kitchens. He advocated increasing the health budget and pr oviding free maternity care. When asked about his brother, the mo st well known Bucaram, Jacobo asserted Abdals importance while claimi ng his independence from his brother. The PRE has advocated the return of Abdal to Ecuador under immunity, which would be a part of any PR E presidency. Jacobo clai med that his brothers impeachment was unconstitutional, and that the Congress didnt do justice. When asked if he won, if he would maintain a distance from his brother or rule in his brothers shadow, Jacobo became o ffended with the question. He then went on to list everything he has done without his brother, and everything his brother has done without him. He ack nowledged that Abdal is a very important leader in the country, but that he wa s independent of his brother.
143 Traditional Candidates In the 2002 elections, one could argue t hat only two of the 11 candidates came from even somewhat traditional political parties. The dominant parties that still hold electoral weight in recent democracy have been the Partido Social Cristiano (PSC), a business oriented, right wing party from coastal stronghold Guayaquil, and the Izquierda Democracia (ID), Quitos leftist leaning, social democrat party. Democracia Popular (DP), which had play ed a strong role in Congress for years, virtually disappeared after DP Mahuads failed presidency. Both the PSC and the ID had president s in office (Len Febres Cordero (PSC) in 1984 and Rodrigo Borja (ID) in 1988). Yet, neither party has been able to place one of its candidates into the presidency since their respective candidates governed. Though Febres Cordero and Borjas perso nalities and ideologies contrast heavily, the PSC and ID had important sim ilarities. Febres Corderos forceful personality (Conaghan and Malloy, 1994) was the opposite of Borjas more subdued, academic sensibility. Their po litical styles and source of support differed. Yet, both parties had dominan t, unquestionable party bosses. Both Febres Cordero and Borja were currently the undisputed heads of their political parties. The simple fact that both Borja and Febres Cordero played a major role in the elections of 2002 (18 and 14 years after governing, respectively) shows the personalist tendencies even within political parties. While Febres Cordero attempted to create a successor in Ja ime Nebot (PSC candidate and second
144 round loser in the presidential elections in 1992 and 1996 and current mayor of Guayaquil), Rodrigo Borja has not even made an effort to transfer his political party into other hands, nor has he allowed anyone but himself to be the parties representative in the presi dential elections. Whether th is is because of Borjas monopoly of control within t he party or due to Borjas lack of capable successors, the ID has never been independent of Borja. Evaluating the performanc e of these two political parties continues to center on the dominance of two indi viduals within their respective party organizations. Febres Cordero actively campaigned with the PSC replacement after refusing the PSC nomination. His presence in Xavier Neiras campaign included his name or pictur e on virtually all campaign literature. Since Borjas presidency, he has continued to compete in presidential elections, yet hasnt successful passed into the second round. Though both the PSC and the ID have played important roles in the legislatur e and have often had legislative majorities, the both continue to rely on a dominant per sonality as an identit y to the party. In these cases, both leaders have had prom inence for over a decade. The 2002 election season showed clearly that neit her man intends to retire from the political scene in the near future. This hi ghlighted the reality that even traditional political parties in Ecuador have domi nant leaders who monopo lize the party and personalist tendencies.
145 Rodrigo Borja, the Experienced Politician Dr. Rodrigo Borja, 67, has played an ac tive role in politics since founding the Izquierda Democratica (ID) in 1970, after splinte ring off from the Liberal Party. A five time presidential candi date, Borja served as president of the republic from 1988-1992. His rule was one of re lative political stability, but Borja only enjoyed a legislative majo rity for his first two years in office. The ID did not postulate its own candidate in 1996, but Borja was a candidate in 1998, placing third after Mahuad and Bucaram. Borja found base of his support among m oderate citizens in the highlands, particularly the capital of Quito. His l ong presence in the city and his reputation as a serious academic and leader dr aws support from more moderate Ecuadorians. His party, the ID, espouses a reformist, center-l eft ideology, and has performed much better in legislative el ections than in presidential ones in the recent past. Borja has been known for at tempting to build alliances between political parties, particularly ones in the highlands. The IDs identity is closely connect ed with its leader. When interviewed about this, Borja claimed that here peopl e dont vote for people they dont know, so our tactic is to combine a well k nown person with someone young. (Almedia, Palacio and Febres Cordero, October 7, 2003) Borja says his party insists that one must govern, for the well-being of the country, as opposed to personal aspirations for increased wealth or power ( La ID se escundo September 2, 2002).
146 Borjas center-left tendencies attempt ed to create a functional political party with Social Christian characteristi cs, and lack of support for the neoliberal program made him an import ant figure among center-lef t parties. He protested the dollarization of the country and has opposed selling important state enterprises. His campaign was based around a mixed econom y, where state capital and private business work together to modernize the business of public services. Borja rejected the neoliberal equat ion of total privatiz ation, claiming it hasnt worked in Latin America. In addition, he also had a strong message against corruption, claiming that his admin istration would carefully monitor state funds. In order to revitalize the economy, Borja advocated increasing petroleum production and emphasizing tourism as a source of income. Finally, Borjas campaign emphasized a campaign to make internet service more obtainable to Ecuadorians, to implant clear, stable economic rules, and to focus on health care in Ecuador. Xavier Neira, the Insider Free Market Advocate Xavier Neira Menndez, 55, an economist by profession, served as a legislator from 1994-1996 and 1998-2002. A long term member of the PSC, Neira replaced ex-president Len Febres Co rdero as presidential candidate in July. Febres Corderos absence dealt a huge blow to the electoral chances of the PSC, as he was an obvious frontrunner in public opinion polls and had widespread name recognition. Neira, af filiated with the PSC since 1994 but a
147 close partner of Febres Cordero sinc e 1977, has been a loyal member of the party and has the trust of party notables. ( Un hombre October 10, 2002) The PSC was founded by a group of upper class Roman Catholics in Quito in the 1950s, but of late found it major support in Guayaquil. The PSC asserted that it commands over 18% of the national vote. ( La vision October 11, 2002) Over the years, the PSC has bec ome a party closely identified with regional advocacy, as the par ty has fought to maintain local control over local business and pushed for autonomy and dec entralization. Though the party focuses on free market reform and has intimate connections with Guayaquils business sector, it had attracted millions of citizens from Guayaquil of all economic and social backgrounds. While the PSCs support remained regionally concentrated, the widely successful and re spected mayorship of Febres Cordero gave the PSC a reputation of a party that was effective in public administration. Jaime Nebot, current mayor of Guay aquil, continued in the tradition of consolidating PSC support in the city of Guayaquil. Due to the focus on local management and opposition to large governm ent in Quito, the PSC tended to perform very well in coastal provin ces but poorly in other regions. Neira addressed the idea of alliances within a government. He claimed that the PRE is becoming extinct, the DP has ceased to exist, and that he could possibly talk to the ID. Neira argued t hat political parties were suffering and losing their importance in the political system. Yet, the weight of Febres Cordero in the PSC brought up some questions as to whether the PSC was moving
148 towards a more populist party as opposed to an ideological one. When interviewed, Neira rejected that idea, st ating that, The party is ideological and for that reason, it continues to be strong. (Almedia, Palacio and Febres Cordero, 2002c). Neira claimed that the doctrine of the PSC becomes evident in their support of the market economy to handle social problems, emphasizing the equality of opportunities, and free markets with effect ive state regulation. Neira asserted that the majority of Ecuadors political problems came from a lack of effective leadership in the pres idential post. Due to the extremely strong role allocated to the president in Ecuador a political party without power in the executive post was significantly restricted in its capacities. Neira claimed that no presidents have managed to effectively use the power of the presidency to make fundamental changes in the political and ec onomic sphere. He went as far as declairing that the problem in Ecuador wasnt moral, economic or social, but was the lack of political leadersh ip. Neira claimed that a pr esident must be elected for his campaign discourse and must stay true to what he promised. If changes couldnt be achieved in Congress, Neira stated that a referendum must occur; the citizens must have the capacity to dec ide what changes the country needs. Neira established that security, reactivati ng the economy, increas ing production and creating more jobs were the countrys most urgent needs. His campaign centered on several main areas. In the social arena, he said that schools, housing, hospitals and ports were indispensable for growth, and that the poorest Ecuadorians should benefit fr om these works. He advocated for
149 the decentralization and trans parency of the state. In the economic sphere, Neira insisted that economic growth would decrease poverty, which was the main cause and effect of corruption. He w ould work with international financial institutions, but was adamant that none of them could impose a general economic strategy on the country, such as forcing the sale of certain state owned businesses. Finally, Neira believed that dollarization would eventually result in the growth of exports, and would increas e levels of saving and investments. Round One Analysis In the first round of the elections, a main theme continued to be corruption. According to Transparencia Internacional Ecuador is the second most corrupt country in Latin America, with an estima ted $2 billion lost due to corruption each year (Naranjo, 2002). All candidates had a platform which emphasized the importance of transparency in the government and in control of spending. Due partially to the corruption scandals of past presidents, a reputation of honesty and a strong campaign against co rruption became essential. The basic necessities such as housing and employment formed an important cornerstone of t he campaign. These campaign ideas, varying from general thoughts of reactivating the ec onomy to actual inscription at party headquarters of the homele ss and jobless have played an important role in presidential campaigns for over a dec ade (Ponce, 2002). The 2002 elections were no different, with candidates promising housing and jobs.
150 The presence of eleven contenders cr eated an interesting situation for the candidates. Due to the plethora of candidates, many candidates chose to focus their campaigns to a specific populat ion. The PRE and the PSC stayed generally in the coast, as did Noboa. Noboa conti nued to play the role of the resident populist, giving away free medicine, t-shirts flour and multiple other products to supporters. In an interesting new approach to politics, Gutirrez catered to a previously ignored group. He specific ally addressed the unique needs of Ecuadors large and impoverished, political ly motivated and frustrated indigenous community that participated in the 2000 uprising with hi m. Gutirrez campaigned in his combat fatigues, making his identit y as a military man a core part of his identity. By combining spec ial attention to the needs of the indigenous population (an estimated 25-40% of the country) and relying on the high approval rating the military receives in Ecuador, he espoused a completely new campaign strategy. On Sunday, October 20th, millions of Ecuadorians cast their vote for the next president, congressional elections, and el ections for local offices. All of the candidates worked to in different ways to gain support from different citizens. Due to the obligatory vote, ov er five million Ecuadorians w ent to the polls to elect their president. The lack of trust in pub lic opinion polls created true suspense as to who would pass onto the second round. ( La desconfianza September 9, 2002).
151 The outcome stunned several political parties and millions of citizens. While traditional political parties performed well at the legislative level, the three outsiders who staunchly refused to align with any traditional parties swept the executive elections. Former coup leader, ex -Colonel Lucio Gutirrez of the PSPPachikutik, shocked the nation with his vi ctory in the first round after obtaining 19.1% of the vote. Guti rrez managed to win the first round election without winning either the province of Guayas or Pichincha, an extremely difficult feat. Guayas and Pichincha are the two most populous provinces in Ecuador, which contain Guayaquil and Quit o and approximately half of the countrys population. In addition, Gutirrez had an extremel y limited campaign budget. Former front runner Alvaro Noboa of the PRIAN placed second with 17.3% of the votes cast, after spending nearly 10 times as much money on his campaign as winner Gutirrez. Len Rolds, the candidate who refused to run under any party banner, finished a close third with 16.9% of the vo te. In an extremely close race, Rodrigo Borja finished fourth and won his home pr ovince of Pichincha. Xavier Neira finished fifth and won Guayas. Jacobo Bu caram finished sixth. Only eight percentage points of the vote separat ed first place from sixth place. For the first time since the redemoc ratization of the country in 1979, no established party would participate in t he second round of elections. The gradual shift towards candidates independent of political parties and established organizations became complete in 2002. The elections analysis of the first round
152 done by the newspaper El Comercio of Quito was titled, Ecuador preferred to leave political party rule behind. In t heir analysis, they state that the three outsider candidates attempted and succeede d in creating confidence in their capacity to address important economic, political and social problems that political parties had failed to address and improve. Secondly, the results indicated the electorates desires for a new type of politics and a new type of politician, who has no obligat ions to the delegitimized polit ical parties. The victory of Gutirrez, who based his campaign on a strong denunciation of established politicians and a promise to attack corrupti on at its roots, was given legitimacy by his actions on January 21st, 2000, when Guitrrez risked his career to overthrow a corrupt and unpopular president. ( El Ecuador dejo al lado October 20, 2002). In addition, El Universo stated that the victories of Gutirrez and Noboa signaled an increased polarization in the country and a thorough rejection of traditional political parties. The main losers in the election were the traditional political parties, who failed to maintain the support of voters who were once loyal to them. As the election results became clear, the politic al parties reacted with anger and shock. PSC leader Len Febres Cordero had the har shest comments. He bluntly stated in a press conference after the electi on results that, The country made a mistake. ( El Ecuador se polariza October 20, 2002) In addition, he asserted that, The Ecuadorian people elected tw o unprepared leaders. He stated that neither had the qualifications to be pr esidential candidates, and were even less
153 prepared to be president. He further expr essed his fear that due to lack of experience, neither candidate would hav e the knowledge to make appropriate decisions. ( Len Febres Cordero October 21, 2002.) Scholars went as far as to claim t hat the party system in the country was at risk. They warned that while governm ents of charismatic leaders arent always catastrophic, they tend be fu ll of problems, especially in Latin America. Scott Mainwaring warned that, These types of leaders arrive in power with an individualistic style and tend to govern i ndividually and with author itarianism. In other Latin American countries with out sider leaders, outsider presidencies tended to further weaken political par ties and political institutions.( Analisis October 24, 2002) Noboa and Gutirrez also emphasized the rejection of political parties in their comments after winning the elections Gutirrez stated, If Noboa and I are the ones who won it is because the peopl e said, Enough! to the same old politicians. The Ecuadorian people w anted a change after being led by an old political class that the people dont want in power anymore. Noboa stated that he was the figure of change and t hat the Ecuadorian pe ople had punished [traditional politicians] at the polls.( El Ecuador se polariza, October 20, 2004) The results of the elections obviously indicated a clear shift away from traditional political parties in the execut ive post. Yet, the election results on a whole indicate a somewhat different picture. Both the PRIAN and the PSP performed poorly in the legislative electi ons. In contrast, the PSC, ID and PRE
154 won the majority of the seats in Congr ess. Though traditional parties lost heavily in the elections, PSC insider Len Febr es Cordero won more votes in the legislative election than any other c andidate postulating. He and his party will have an active leadership in the Congress. Yet, Neira placed 5th in the presidential elections. This fact points away from the thesis of complete alienation of political parties in Ecuador. In what could potentially be a very difficult reality, this created a situation where neither second round candidate would enjoy any significant level of support in Congress. Ther efore, the traditi on of opposition and antagonism between the executive and legisl ative branches seemed very likely to continue. Secondly, in a country where charisma wins elections, the PSC and the ID both fielded candidates who failed to connect significantly with the general population. They did not manage to adequately address the peoples problems with political party rule. Borjas lack of charisma has been a part of his reputation for decades, and Neiras mediocre ca mpaign both damaged each of their electoral opportunities. Borja, refe rred to as one of Ecuadors political dinosaurs, is a representati on of the old, political party politician. Neira, coming from a costal tradition of charisma and populism, didnt connect with the voters in any significant way. Traditional political parties might not have had more options in terms of candidate choice, but neither one managed to inspire the electorate. It would seem that traditional political par ties have no chance of winning elections
155 unless they find leaders who can espouse a message of change in a country that suffers from continual political social and economic problems. In addition, the indigenous support fo r Gutirrez played a tremendous role in his victory. Due to the plethora of candidates, having the loyalty of a powerful, active organization who takes voting seri ously was enough to propel Gutirrez into the second round. Yet, his identific ation with the military and his actions on January 21st tapped into an important group of non-indigenous, frustrated citizens. His complete refusal to acknow ledge the supremacy of any organization (such as a political party) over hi s obligation to t he people rang well with alienated voters. An extremely important new component of the elections was the lack of real governmental plans espoused by ei ther candidate. Neither Gutirrez nor Noboa detailed specific ideas of governmen tal plans in their campaigns. This did not become a detriment, as the electora te focused more on the possibility of something new as opposed to new concre te ideas. The lack of experience actually gave both of these candidates cr edibility in the eyes of Ecuadorians. Noboa and Gutirrez both founded their ow n political parties in order to compete in the presidential campaign ( El Ecuador se polariza October 20, 2004). While Noboas personal wealth has allowed him to dedicate more funding into the development of a political party, his strategy has been obviously clientelistic. Neither candidate seriously attempted to build a credible party organization, and rejected forming any ki nd of alliance with another traditional
156 political party. Gutirrez alliance with Pachakutik diffe red, due to the fact that Pachakutik also ran candidates with an outsider platform, and was seen as a party with strong opposition to the established order. Finally, the lack of political exper ience formed another important break from the past in Ecuador. Neither Guti rrez nor Noboa have held any elected posts in government, or have served in any governmental administrations. Both are complete neophytes to the political gam e, with weak political parties and few friends within the political sphere. Yet, in a country alienated by political party rule and constant corruption scandals, their lack of connections to any political party or organization formed an important base fo r their campaign platforms. This did not address how to feasibly rule once in o ffice, but their status as a businessman and as a career military officer were prefer red over the other f our candidates, all of whom had significant governmental experience. The Second Round and the Results Because of the plethora of candidates in 2002, a fact of the first round was that Noboa and Gutirrez received barely more than a third of the total vote combined. Immediately after the el ections, many analysts questioned the usefulness of a two round electoral system when this can mean that candidates with between 17-19% of the countrys suppor t become the only two options in the second round. Almost two thirds of the country didnt choose either one as their preferred candidate, so Noboa and Gu tirrez had to focus on obtaining the
157 support of those votes. Due to relatively high levels of voter turnout, these voters would decide who would be the next president. As second round candidates waited for endorsements from first round losers, few came. El Comercio commented on this lack of enthusiasm by political parties and movements to form alliances with either candidate. The PSC told the country that they would not endorse any candidate. Rolds, who had the loyalty of many small parties, also declined to support a candidate. He said those who voted for him must decide for themselves who to support, but that he personally would not align with either one. The ID decided to respect the elections, but prohibited its members from working acti vely to support either candidate. The PRE stated it was too ear ly to pick an alliance. Gutirrez and Noboa approached t he second round very differently. Gutirrez immediately began to talk to political parties and established political organizations, hoping to build bridges with traditional parties. He decided to campaign in business suits more oft en than fatigues, and worked with important sectors that were nervous about what a possible Gutirrez presidency would do to the perception of stability in the count ry. As the international media and Latin America watched Venezuela become increas ingly polarized over Hugo Chvez rule, Gutirrez worked to differentiate hi mself from Latin Amer icas other military president. Venezuela had suffered from se rious strikes, protests, attempted coups, and continual political upheaval. Guti rrez set out to convince the country that his presidency would be di fferent than that of Chvez.
158 Gutirrez wanted a very active campaign, with open and direct communication with the medi a to spread his true campaign message. Instead of ignoring potential opposition from important po litical players in Ecuador, Gutirrez addressed the importance of cr eating a sense of calm in the sectors where his candidacy generated resistanc e. These included the business community, free market supporters and right leaning political groups. In a field of two unexperienced outsiders, Gutirrez focused on establishing a plan of government and demonstrating a coher ent and pragmatic program for his presidency. Now that Gu tirrez had sufficient media attention, he wanted to distance himself from his m ilitary identity and focus on becoming a civilian leader ready to peacefully ac hieve important reforms. (Candidatos, October 23, 2003). Though most famous for his actions in overthrowing a government on January 21st, 2000, Gutirrez worked to emphasize his desire to peacefully and democratically make important changes in Ecuador. In regards to other political parties, Gutirrez active ly pursued the support of other leaders to work with his government. Noboa did the exact opposite. Guti rrez immediately began looking for alliances and working on attracting voters who didnt vote for him in the first round; Noboa stayed silent. As Gutirre z established important communication with the press, Noboa refused to m eet with any group. Gutirrez began to caravan across the country looking for support and Noboa took a vacation from the campaign. Noboa didnt look for any alliances among political parties.
159 When Noboa decided to join the cam paign trail again, he began a very personal attack against Gutirrez and his pr esidency. Allegations came out by Noboa that Gutirrez had been physically a busive to his wife. Gutirrez quickly rejected that claim, but Noboa went on with an ad campaign that asked if Ecuadorians wanted an abuser to be presid ent. He worked to develop female opposition to Gutirrez, trying to win the vote of Ecuadors women. Noboa seemed to be much more comfortable per sonally attacking Gutirrez as opposed to talking about campaign issues. Politicially, Gutirrez attempted to keep the campaign based on platforms and ideas. He repeatedly challenged Noboa to a live debate. After days of not responding, Noboa finally agreed and a debate was schedule a couple of weeks before the campaign. Noboa later cance lled the debate and it never occurred. On November 24th, Ecuadorians returned to the polls and elected their next president. Lucio Gutirrez won by a comfortable margin, even after Noboas last minute smear campaign. The night of his election, Gutirrez claimed that he would never again be seen in military fa tigues when doing presidential duties, and that he felt a great sense of res ponsibility to help mend some of the deep cleavages that exis ted in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian population knew they were going to have a new type of leader in 2002. They chose between a rich businessman and a military coup leader. Gutirrezs success came from his real attempt to build bridges between other political groups during the second round. In addition, more citizens
160 identified with Gutirrez, a hard work ing military man with a strong sense of country as opposed to an elite member of the business so ciety. Gutirrez managed to develop support and hope among Ecuadors indigenous population, and made their needs an import ant part of his program. Gutirrez worked to create an inclusive government that addressed the needs of not only the business community, but also the impoverished sectors and indigenous community. Lucio Gutirrez did not represent a vi ctory of populism. Alvaro Noboa ran a completely populist campaign, and ended up losing at the polls. Gutirrez became a fresh face with a new ideology for a nation in recovery from an extreme crisis. Gutirrez attempts to reac h out to all sectors of society, including business elites, the urban poor, the milit ary, and indigenous citizens hopes to create bonds that will help the country move forward. Yet, Guti rrez has virtually no support in Congress and an alliance with CONAIE that could disappear at any minute. If Gutirrez survives his term through 2006, he will be the first president to do so in the last decade. Based on Ec uadors democratic history, the next president will probably be a conservative more traditional politician from the coast. Those following Ecuadors current situation should watch for politicians mounting strong attacks against Gutirre z to become presidential candidates. Finally, political parties have become almost irrelevant in Ecuadors presidential elections. In 2002, candidates who affiliated with a political party
161 finished far worse than those who reject ed party rule. Though political parties tended to have more money, deeper roots in society, and can assist in campaigning and advertising, th is did not provide any be nefits for the candidates. Outsiders have become serious contenders in every election in the last decade, and won two of the three that occurred. Expect outsider candidates to continue to perform strongly.
162 CONCLUSIONS Ecuador has currently had over two decades of experience with democratic government. Due to widespread consensus by the military, elite groups, and common citizens, Ecuador seemed to have the possibility of being a success story of the redemocratization of Latin America. The countrys brightest academics and public policy analysts carefully constructed a constitution and a democratic system that would change some of the traditional characteristics of Ecuadorian democracy and create a system t hat functioned more smoothly. In order to control such endemic problems as personalism, executive-legislative conflict, and weak and ineffective institut ions, the constitution mandated a system that hoped to construct independent and signifi cant political parties. This formed the base for more cooperation between t he legislature and the government. Yet, the past twenty years of democratic exper iences has shown the constitution and laws have failed to change a political culture based on these problematic characteristics. Political Parties Firstly, political parties and inst itutions have not become stable and effective in the country While the country gave politicia ns from political parties support in the 1980s, their mediocre pr esidencies pushed the electorate away from unconditional support of any particular party. Political parties have failed to
163 adequately perform their theoretical func tions, which include channeling and expressing interests of the electorate, helping groups elaborate their interests while allowing governments to govern, assist ing in establishing the legitimacy of the political system providing an avenue for represent ation, creating roots in society, developing and implementi ng programs for the country, and in constraining presidents who atte mpt to overstep their boundaries. The tradition of personalism has continued within political parties. After 20 years, these parties continue to be dominated by a person as opposed to ideology Both the Izquierda Democrtica (ID) and the Partido Socialcristiano (PSC) have obvious party bosses that ma ke most of the party decisions, and often decide for themselves who will be a presidential candidate. There is very little room for debate within the party, and there is no avenue to dissent from the leaders opinions. When Durn Balln contes ted his loss of the nomination at the 1992 party convention, there was no democ ratic procedure in place to address that. Instead, he simply split off from a political party that he had lead for decades and formed his own. After a political party has held office, it usually becomes less popular and often loses support, at least tempor arily. Political parties have become particularly vulnerable after a presidential term An unsuccessful presidency can often destroy both personalist and traditiona l parties. No party has been able to win the presidency twice in the dem ocratic era. Though one would expect personalist parties to have less influence a fter a difficult admini stration, this is
164 also true for established political parties. Jamil Mahuads party, the Democrcia Popular (DP), had been active in Ecuadorian po litics for decades. It worked to develop an ideological pla tform, had roots in societ y, and a fairly democratic structure. It won more seats in Congre ss in 1998 than any other party and gave Mahuad strong allies in the legislatur e. Yet, after Mahuads disastrous presidency, the party virtually disa ppeared. Some of the remaining DP congressmen split from the party and formed a different party. The DP went from prominence to near extinction in less than two years. Due to the unsuccessful presidencies of political party candidates, few Ecuadorians feel any kind of long term loyalty to any particular party. The political parties are at fault for fail ing to attract a loyal electorate. The people have given political parties ample opportunities to prove themselves as capable administrators once in office. Yet, instead of developing ties to specific parties, the electorate evaluates its support for a party or a person based on his tangible performance once in office. The constitutional requirement that mandated presidential candidates to run under party banners hoped to create im portant ties between presidential leaders and congressional repres entatives. In an interesting twist, this resulted in individual candidates running under one political party and then abandoning that party once in office, which occurred wit h Len Rolds presidency. This was a hint of what was to come, as in the 1990s politicians began creating individual political parties with the sole purpose of meeting the constitutional requirement of
165 party affiliation to run for office. The particularly telling case of Sixto Durn Balln, who failed twice to win the presidency under the PSC banner, became successful in his presidential aspirati ons after abandoning his political party and constructed a completely new pa rty for a specific campaign. Political parties have failed to do t heir most fundamental task; represent the needs and desires of the population. While Ecuador is not the only country in Latin America where this has happened, this failure has resulted in other movements or individuals that have tried to fill the void of representation. Populist and outsider presidents have attemp ted to construct themselves as the most effective ally of the people in Congress. Some have even claimed that political parties have proven their lack of capacity to represent the people, and the people should be directly represented by the president. (This reinforces the concept of delegative democracy). These new personalist political parties, created by individual politicians to support their presidential aspirations, have not had success in the legislative elections. These parties, which include the Partido Unin Republicana (PUR) created by Sixto Du rn Balln, the Partido Roldsista Ecuatoriana (PRE) created by Abdal Bucaram, the Partido Renovador Institucional Accin Nacional (PRIAN) created by Alvaro Noboa, and the Partido Sociedad Patritica (PSP) created by Lucio Gutirrez, have not won many seats in the legislature. This means that personalist presidents often co me into power with little or no party
166 support once in office. In addition, these par ties also quickly lose any influence they managed to gain once their leader is no longer in power. Legislative-Executive Relationships These realities highlight another important realit y of Ecuadorian democracy. There continues to be more conflict than consensus among the branches of government, and the legislat ive-executive relationship has been particularly oppositional. This has been a key cornerstone of Ecuadors political culture for decades, and the implementat ion of a democratic system has not found an effective way to promote cooperat ion between the diffe rent branches of government. The Rolds administration bega n with particularly difficult problems with the legislature. In addition, Febr es Cordero repeatedl y ignored mandates from Congress, which became so frustrat ed with the presidents authoritarianism that they asked for his resignation. Dur n Ballns administration suffered as his vice president fled the country into exile after he made public the bribes that were necessary in order to have legislation passed. Congress willingly impeached Bucaram to end his mandate. Finally, an ex-Supreme Court justice played a key role in the overthrow of Mahuads presidency. The prospects for increased cooperat ion are weak, particularly with the evolving trend of electing outsider pres idents and a legislature dominated by traditional political parties. In the 2002 el ections, President Gutirrez party has only 7% of the seats in Congress. While that will make implementing policies extremely difficult on its ow n, Gutirrez congress is dominated by ideologically
167 opposed political parties, particularly t he PSC. While Gutirrez campaigned with support from leftist groups and a str ong role for indigenous needs, the PSC continues to focus on business concer ns and free mark et reforms. Gutirrez does not have the political support necessary to implement the changes he advocated in his campaign. Much of his time will be spent attempting to build coalitions in the legislature. Pa rticularly troubling is the fact that both President Bucaram and President Mahuad has significantly more allies in Congress than Gutirrez, yet neither one managed to survive their constitutionally mandated term in office. An Empowered Electorate One of the historic c hanges that occurred in 1979 with the arrival of the contemporary democratic era was the ex tension of the vote to illiterate Ecuadorians. Historically, this clause was used to exclude the majority of the population from voting and resulted in electi ons of elite members of society by the same socioeconomic class. This also prevented non-Spanish speaking indigenous citizens from voting. In 1979, m illions of poor Ecuadorians gained the right to vote for the fi rst time in history. The estimated 25-40% of the indi genous population had never before played any role whatsoever in government al politics or policies. With the new voting rules, the indigenous population began to participate in national politics. While in the 1980s, their needs and demands continued to be largely ignored by mainstream politics, in the 1990s t hey became an important and influential
168 group. Their nontraditional actions of pr otest against government policies (such as strikes, protests and uprisings) m ade the government pay attention to their needs. Methods of protest often include d blocking transportation lines. This prevented food and other necessities from arriving to cities in the highlands. Presidents have begun to dialogue with CONAIE and other groups on a regular basis. The previously excluded indigenous groups and other progressive social movements now play an active role in the political events of the country. In a new trend in Ecuadorian politics, the events of t he past five years has shown that the people will actively support an unconstitution al dismissal of a freely and fairly elected president that has performed poorly in office and lost legitimacy. An electoral victory no longer guarantees ex tended support throughout their elected term. Bucaram was in offi ce for only six months until he was forced to leave office. The public widely approved of his quasiconstitutional removal. In addition, Mahuads presidency ended because of the actions of an angry and disillusioned electorate. Though both Bucaram and Mahua d were elected in fair and free elections, it took little time for the populat ion to revoke their support and then fight for his ouster. The vast majority of the population support ed both Bucarams and Mahuads dismissal. This trend has intensified in the la st decade. In the 1980s, candidates who were elected managed to survive their terms, even if they were unpopular. The population waited unt il the elections and then rejected that candidate, their
169 party, and their ideology by voting a comple tely different person into office. The presidential elections have consisted of victorious candidates with a leftist ideology followed by a candidate with a fr ee market, conservative ideology. In the 1990s, the electorate refused to wait for a candidate to finish his term in order to reject his ideology. Instead, they actively supported his dismissal. As presidents struggle, the electorate looks towa rd the incumbents opponent in the next election. In this last point, the 2002 election s become particularly poignant. Both Noboa and Gutirrez solidified an impor tant trend in Ecuadorian democratic history; Strong opposition to the incu mbent government cr eates a favorable image for the following elections. Noboa attacked Mahuad in the 1998 elections, and accused him of cheating. Gutirrez played a critical role in Mahuads dismissal from power. This opposition to the incumbent president also propelled Febres Cordero, Durn Ball n, Bucaram and Mahuad to power. Outsiders The disappointment in the Ecuadorian political system and the lack of effective political parties has created a rich environment for outsiders and populists, who campaign on opposition to what was instead of what they plan to do. This has created a situat ion where the country has little idea what to expect from a president when he enters office. They cl aim to serve as better representatives of the public than other political parties or politicians. Within the political system, these candidates have a sserted that they dont need the support
170 or help of an established par ty to represent the people. In fact, some have said that they can be the voice of the fr ustrated within the system. The increasing successes of candidates who reject parti es as means of representation are performing well in elections. Yet, these candidates are often unclear about the logistics and plans of their government and have little legisl ative support. This vagueness, while popular during the election season, comes with a price. The c ountry has extreme constraints placed on it by the internat ional financial community. Any government has little room to maneuver and little acce ss to funds to implement real programs that impact the levels of poverty and unemployment. Outsider candidates often dont address this reality, and dont in clude necessary budgetary cutbacks and austerity measures as part of their pla tforms. Yet, once in office, the president has no control in this respect. After making promises to millions of poor to improve their quality of life, provide new services, and work advocating for their needs, these candidates often come into the presidency with little room to maneuver. They then must continue comply ing with austerity measures imposed by international financial institutio ns, and the budget does not allow for new social programs. These candidates quickl y lose their legitimacy and support if they cant fulfill at least some of t heir campaign promises. Bucarams presidency is a prime example of this reality. After winning the presidency, over two million Ecuadorians participated in a strike against him that assisted in his ouster a mere six months after he became president.
171 Social Movements People have organized in other ways to voice their needs. They have mobilized and become organized. Some gr oups have decided that in order to be heard, they must work outside of the syst em to put pressure on the government to listen to them and their demands. T hese groups, including powerful social movements, (particularly CONAIE) and other organizations, such as labor unions and student groups have become im portant actors in the po litical reality of the country. In this aspect, social movements hav e become a source of representation for previously ignored populations. Some so cial movements reject the idea of forming a political party and working withi n the system for change. They assert that the system is inherently corrupt, so change must be forced from the outside. The strikes, mobilizations and protests employed by these groups to receive concessions from government have form ed another attempt at representation. They have participated in unconventional actions that have resulted in regime changes in the government. Some assert th at this is an ultimate example of democracy, while others argue that groups such as this disrupt the democratic process. Many members of these or ganizations argue that the democratic system gives them no real representati on, so they are forced to voice their demands in different ways. Though most of Ecuador seems committ ed to the democratic process, the country elected Gutirrez, a man who becam e famous because of his role in an
172 unconstitutional dismissal of the previous freely and fairly elected president. As evidenced by the UNDP report, much of the region of Latin America continues to feel ambivalent about democracy as a po litical system. Much more concerned with effective rule and solutions to ec onomic problems, the populace in Ecuador would likely support any group that coul d establish some control over the countrys financial situation. Gutirrezs affiliation with the armed forces has posed the question of whether civilian adm inistrators are really in the best interest of the country. Any president of Ecuador enters office in an extremely difficult situation. They must juggle international financ ial requirements with national social demands. The president walks a fine line between losing credibility with the international community or his own peopl e. The organization of the political system, with Congress based on coalition bu ilding, does not give the president significant support to make decisions. The population has demonstrated that they only have so much tolerance for econom ic decline and governmental scandal. Therefore, a president enter ing office must be prepared to negotiate and work with multiple groups just to keep the country stable. Finally, the structure of the political system could be a source of ineffective presidencies. While the electoral system has often given the presidencies to outsiders, once in government these outsi ders face enormous opposition from a congress dominated by insiders. T he population has repeatedly elected presidents without giving them any support in congress. In the past, this has
173 meant difficult coalition building. Presi dents have asserted that this reality also assisted in the continual endemic corr uption within the system, as presidents believe they must bribe political partie s for their support onc e in office. This reality finds its roots in a constitution that continues to insist that political parties play a critical role in government. As political parties become increasingly illegitimate, the system might need some fundamental changes to allow presidents the capacity to govern. Final Thoughts Perhaps the most important probl em in Ecuador stems from a genuine feeling that the population has no instit utional avenues of r epresentation within the governmental system. While political parties are supposed to be the intermediaries between government and the people, the parties in Ecuador have not managed to successfully do so. As the electorate has become more empowered to advocate for their rights, new forms of representation within and outside the political system has occurred. While Ecuador is not the only country in Latin America where this has happened, this failure has resulted in other movements or individuals that have tried to fill the void of representation. Populist and outsider presidents have attempted to cons truct themselves as the most effective ally of the people in within the system. Some have even claimed that political parties have proven their lack of capacity to represent the people, and the people should be directly represented by the president. Other groups, outside the system, have attempted to become representatives of the
174 people and have included impor tant, powerful social mo vements, (particularly CONAIE) and other organizations, such as labor unions and student groups. Until the political system provides proper avenues for people to voice their opposition and frustration within the system social movements and outsider presidents will continue to be popular.
175 REFERENCES Books and Articles Aguero, Felipe and Jeffery Stark. 1998. Fault Lines of Democracy in PostTransition Latin America Miami: North-Sout h Center Press. Almedia, Monica, Emilio Palacio and Francisco Febres Cordero. 2002a Alvaro Noboa: Diferenciar lo que es mo y lo que es del Estado. El Universo October 3. Online edition. www.eluniverso.com Accessed January 23, 2003. Almedia, Monica, Emilio Palacio and Francisco Febres Cordero. 2002b. Gutirrez: El mo no es un nacionalismo enfermizo El Universo October 1. Online edition. www.eluniverso.com Accessed January 23, 2003 Almedia, Monica, Emilio Palacio and Francisco Febres Cordero. 2002c. Jacobo Bucaram: Yo tengo una imagen y mi propia identidad. El Universo October 4. Online edition. www.eluniverso.com Accessed January 23, 2003 Almedia, Monica, Emilio Palacio and Francisco Febres Cordero. 2002d. Len Rolds: Nadie llevar troncha, absolutamente nadie. El Universo October 11. Online edition. www.eluniverso.com Accessed January 23, 2003. Almedia, Monica, Emilio Palacio and Francisco Febres Cordero. 2002e. Neira: La crisis del Ecuador es de liderazgo poltico. El Universo October 2. Online edition. www.eluniverso.com Accessed January 23, 2003 Almedia, Monica, Emilio Palacio a nd Francisco Febres Cordero. 2002f. Rodrigo Borja: Lamento def raudar a los neoliberales. El Universo October 7. Online edition. www.eluniverso.com Accessed January 23, 2003 Alvaro Noboa indeciso para inscribirse 2002. El Universo August 11. Online edition. www.eluniverso.com Accessed January 23, 2003 Analisis: El sistema del partidos en el pas, en reisgo. 2002. El Comercio October 24. Online edition. www.elcomercio.com Accessed March 25, 2003.
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185 International Observation Mission Reports The International Repub lican Institute. (IRI) All reports available at http:// www.iri.org/countries .asp?id=5829029785 Ecuador Pre Election Assessment Mi ssion (July 17-24, 2002) Report #1, Released August 26, 2002. Ecuador Pre-Election Assessment Mi ssion (August 18-24, 2002) Report #2, Released September 17, 2002 Ecuador Pre-Election Assessment Mission (September 12-22, 2002), Report #3, Releas ed October 4, 2002 Ecuador Election Observation Repor t from the October and November Elections Preliminary Statement, Electoral Observations, Ecuador, October 21, 2002. Organization of American States (OAS) www.oas.org/main/main.asp?sLang=E&sLink=http://www.oas.org/OAS page/press_releases/press_rele ase.asp?sCodigo+AVI-028/04 Misin de observacin electoral (final report, in Spanish, 59 pages) 2002 Consolidation Report 1998 General Elections (90 paginas) Copy of Voting Ballot Press Releases (9.20.02-1.16.03) News clips (10.11.02-10.18.02) Electoral Laws in Spanish European Union (EU) (ue-moee.org ) Project Electoral System Electoral Results Legal issues Political Parties/Candidates Declarations Press/News Information for Observers Ecuador info Cooperacion UE Marco Derechos Humanos Links Contact us (did but no response)
186 News sources Newspapers El Comercio (Quito) El Universo (Guayaquil) El Tiempo (Guayaquil) El Hoy (Quito) Magazines El Vistazo Cosas El Hogar Campaign Websites Alvaronoboa.com Xavierniera.com Sociedadpatriotica.com US Newspapers New York Times Washington Post Miami Herald Associated Press