Ecuador
Decides
2017

General Elections

Lenín Moreno

Country Alliance

Proposal

To generate 200,000 new jobs, give preferential credit ratings to young entrepreneurs and businesspeople, guarantee access to higher education by creating orientation centers, improve the living conditions of senior citizens through a program called "My Best Years," establish dialogue with different political groups.

The former vice president is the candidate for the governing PAIS Alliance and the favorite in the polls to win the presidential race.

Patricio Zuquilanda

Patriotic Society Party (PSP)

Proposal

To continue the dollarized economy by means of an "efficient control of public spending," reform the Constitution to eliminate the Citizen's Participation Council, change the nomination process for the Electorate Council and revoke the Communication Law.

Zuquilanda Duque was previously minister of foreign affairs and ambassador to Korea. He defines himself as a nationalist and does not consider his politics either right or left. 

Iván Espinel

Movement Force and Social Commitment

Proposal

To privatize public companies, including media outlets, open relations with the United States, increase the sentence for embezzlement from 13 to 40 years and establish the death penalty for murderers and child molesters.

Cynthia Viteri

Christian Social Party (PSC)

Proposal

To establish special tax-free areas to stimulate the productive activity in border areas of the Hoaquillas region (Peruvian border) and the province of Carchi (Colombian border), creating 800,000 jobs in four years.

Viteri is a candidate from a center-right party.

Abdalá Bucaram

Force Ecuador

Proposal

To encourage an understanding between the public and private sectors in order to tackle unemployment, eliminate protections and reduce income tax from 14 to 10 percent.

Son of former President Abdalá Bucaram Ortíz, Bucaram’s party belongs to the right wing and in public statement has denied any possibility of forming alliances with center-left organizations. 

Paco Moncayo

Agreement for Change

Proposal

To strengthen the dollarized system and stimulate private investment, promoting pacts between companies so they do not evade taxes, and decriminalize abortion in rape cases.

Moncayo defines himself as a social democrat. He has been an army general, national congressman (1998-2000), mayor of Quito during two consecutive periods (2000 and 2009) and also a representative for Pichincha (2009-2013).

Washington Pesántez

Ecuadorean Union

Proposal

The state must regulate but not intervene, to call for a national constituent assembly supported by the public in order to end with "hyper-presidentialism." He defends the private investor as necessary to create more jobs.

Pesantez defines himself as center-left. He supported Rafael Correa, then split from the government. Despite this, he has maintained that he will never make alliances with the right wing.

Guillermo Lasso

CREO – SUMA

Proposal

To create 1 million jobs, set interest on credit at 1 percent, eliminate entrance exams for university, cut taxes, "modernize the laws" to allow campesinos to once again carry weapons.

Lasso is a right-wing entrepreneur, politician, banker, who held posts in previous right-wing governments. He defends the free market economy and the increased role of the private sector.

The Candidates

General Election Results

Economy

Economic Growth
in Ecuador

During the last 10 years, Ecuador has enjoyed positive growth in its GDP, with an annual average growth of 3.86 percent. The last time Ecuador’s economy registered negative growth was in 1999, which was also the year of “Bank Holiday” and the introduction of the U.S. currency into the Ecuadorean economy.

Annual variation of GDP 2007-2015
Source: Ecuador Central Bank

Oil sector
and the dollar

The drop in oil prices deeply affected the economies of almost all of Latin America, resulting in devalued currencies, a rise in the exchange rate and the plummeting of real income. The dollarization of the economy in Ecuador makes it an anomaly in this regard, though the high price of the dollar has made Ecuadorean exports more expensive in comparison to its competitors.

Foreign Direct Investment has decreased in comparison to the first quarter of 2015, falling by 26.3 percent from US$280 million to US$206 million in the first quarter of 2016 falls.

One notable policy of Rafael Correa has been the signing of an agreement with the European Union. This trade agreement with the EU, which in many ways continues previous preferential agreements with the 513-million customer bloc, provides an opportunity for Ecuadorean exports, mainly for raw materials and agricultural goods, to enter Europe without tariffs.

The Ecuadorean government foresees a substantial increase of exports since 99.7 percent of the Ecuadorean exports is free of taxes. The stability (even in the short term) of the oil prices shows a more favorable forecast for 2017 than in 2016.

Taxes

The issue of taxes has been at the centre of debates and protests over recent years in the South American nation.

Since dollarizing its economy in the late 1990’s, Ecuador has had to ensure that it retains US currency in the country. The government of Rafael Correa has sought to also stimulate location production, imposing surtaxes on imports for non-essential goods.

In addition, over the last years the government presented a proposal to increase taxes on inheritance as well as on speculative gains on land sales (Plus valia). Despite the fact that these would affect less than 2 percent of Ecuadoreans, there was an intense campaign against these proposals from opposition parties and mainstream media.

Following the devastating earthquake that left hundreds dead and billions in damage, the Correa government also imposed a 2% increase in sales (VAT) tax, along with an temporary, progressive income tax to fund reconstruction.

Despite opposition to these measures, Ecuador maintains among the lowest tax regime in the region and well below the average of countries in the OECD.

Tax Havens

In 2016, the issue of tax havens came to the global spotlight following the so-called Panama Papers leak which revealed the intricate methods whereby the wealthy keep there money in tax free restrictions.

For Ecuador tax evasion through the use of these havens is not only a major concern because it is a developing nation in the need of resources to service the needs of the country and its people, but also because these can also be used to facilitate money laundering and corruption.

According to the country’s tax agency, from January 2014 to October 2016, $4.52 billion left the country destined for tax havens.

President Correa proposed that politicians and public officials should be barred from using tax havens, as a means of demonstrating their commitment to transparency and the public good.

As a result, there will be a referendum to accompany the Feb. 19 General Elections that will ask Ecuadoreans:

“Do you agree that, in order to fulfill a dignity of popular election or to be a public servant, it is established as a prohibition to have assets or capital, of any nature, in tax havens?”

Trade and Debt

Ecuador has long enjoyed a preferential agreement for its agricultural exports with the European Union. As an export dependent country, these agreements serve to buoy exports and are seen as vital for the country’s agricultural sector. This agreement is also important in light of the currency devaluations implemented by the country’s neighbors in order to lift their own exports.

After extensive negotiations to maintain the central tenets of the previous deal while not relinquishing hard fought for sovereignty, the Correa government recently finalized a new agreement with the EU.

Ecuador has also experienced significant financing from China, which has become a major lender to nations in the developing world. Despite these, Ecuador maintains one of the lowest debt-to-GDP ratios in the region (only behind Chile, Paraguay and Peru) and has also ensured that the loans do not compromise social spending and other sovereign decisions, as they did under finance agreements from the IMF, World Bank and others.

Ecuadorean Opposition

The right wing candidates aspiring to the presidency use up their time attacking and criticizing the policies and achievements of Correa's government, forgetting their actual proposals for their people.


Guillermo Lasso

Foto de Guillermo Lasso

Guillermo Lasso is the candidate for the party Alianza Creo-SUMA, he has been a tough critic of the social and economic achievements of President Rafael Correa. Lasso has accused the Correa government of being corrupt and inefficient, despite the numbers showing that the Citizen's Revolution has gained much in economic growth.

The entrepreneur and banker was an economic advisor and ambassador during the government of Lucio Gutiérrez (2003-2005) and had a major economic post in the government of Jamil Mahuad that was responsible for the disastrous “Bank Holiday” fiasco that hurt millions.

Cynthia Viteri

Foto de Cynthia Viteri

The lawyer and candidate of the Social Christian Party has held different posts in the public administration of the mayor's office of Guayaquil during Leon Febres-Cordero Ribadeneyra’s administration. Afterwards, she was the chief of the press department of the presidential campaign of Jaime Nebot, the current mayor of Guayaquil who is one of the most critical among the opposition politicians to Correa's policies.

Supported by Nebot and the SCP elite, Viteri started her political career in 1997. She was then elected to the Constituent National Assembly in 1998 to represent her party.

In 2006, Viteri was the presidential candidate of the Social Christian Party, finishing in fifth place of the race with 9 percent of the vote.

In 2009, she was elected to be a member of the regional assembly in Guayas province, with an alliance between the Social Christians and the Madera Civic Movement.

Paco Moncayo

Foto de Paco Moncayo

Paco Moncayo is a a former army commander and the candidate by the coalition that includes the opposition parties Democratic Left and Popular Unity. He is a hard critic of President's Correa decision to reduce the size of the armed forces.

Moncayo was an army commander in 1995 during the War of Cenepa with Paeru. In 1997 he played a key role in the deposition of President Abadalá Bucaram, withdrowing the support of the National Army and not acknowledging its vice President.

In 1998 he retired from the army to be elected as national representative and lead the social democratic bloc. He was mayor of the city of Quito in two occasions. He was also member of the National Assembly in 2009.

Achievements of The Citizen's Revolution

Foto de Lenín Moreno y Rafael Correa

The elections of coming February 19th will mark the end of Rafael Correa's presidency who has been in power since the elections of November 26th 2006. After a decade of this man's government, Ecuador has lived a profound social and economic change.


Poverty

In 2007, the percentage of poor people by income was 36.7% , this number has decreased to 23.3% in 2015, meaning more than one million Ecuadorians have overcome poverty.

Inequality

In 10 years, the breach between the 10% richest in relation to the 10% of the poores went from 42 to 25, shortening the inequality among those who receive the higher incomes and the ones who get lesser money. Between 2007 and 2015 the poorest quintile doubled their monthly per capita income.

Gini Coefficient

Education

The rate of the primary education registry went from 92% to 96% in 8 years. The total amount of registered people in the public system went from 2 million 604 thousand to 3 million 479 thousand people from 2007 to 2015. In the higher education system area, Ecuador is the country investing a larger quantity of its GDP in this sector, investing 2%.

Students enrolled in the public system

Economy

Ecuador experienced an average growth of 3.9 percent in its domestic product in comparison to the 2.9 percent of other Latin American countries, according to the Economy Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in December 2015.

Ecuador registered an annual inflation rate of 3.6 percent in 2015, a slight increase from the 2013 rate of 2.7 percent, according to the last report of the Consumer Prices Index.

GDP (millions of $)

Unemployment and Social Security

At 4.3 percent, Ecuador has the lowest unemployment rate in the region, according to data of the National Institute of Statistics.

Affiliated to social security (%)
Unemployment (%)
Basic salary ($)

Ecuador Election Stories

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