Ecuador. In early January, there was already great
dissatisfaction with President Abdalá Bucaram Ortiz. A
contributing cause was a tightening package from the
government, which would increase the prices of electricity,
fuel and bus tickets by between 60 and 300%. The announced
raises led to a general strike, which in turn prompted the
president to declare state of emergency.
Since the Congress declared a presidential session on
February 6 at an "extraordinarily insufficient" session,
Parliament could vote him out with a simple majority. He was
succeeded by Vice President Rosalia Arteaga, but just three
days after she was elected Ecuador's first female president,
on February 12, a new interim president was appointed:
former President Fabián Alarcón Rivera, initiator of the
political protest against the former president. At the end
of May, a referendum approved Rivera as Ecuador's president.
Countryaah, the deposed Abdalá Bucaram Ortiz was granted political
asylum in Panama in April. Ecuador's Supreme Court objected
to this, citing that there was an arrest warrant in Ecuador
on Ortiz for criminal offenses, not political ones.
Protests, including from the nation's unified Indian
movement and a number of peasant organizations, in early
August, the president decided that a national council tasked
with reforming the constitution should be appointed by the
end of the year. It was made in the form of general
elections in early December.
Palacio suffered a severe political defeat in October
when the Supreme Electoral Commission canceled his print
election. The president had shortly before the election been
made for the purpose of electing a constitutional assembly.
The call for a constitutional assembly is an old demand from
the social movements in Ecuador that has brought down
several presidents. Palacio now used this requirement to put
pressure on the country's political elite, but according to.
a majority of the members of the supreme electoral
commission contained the amendment of the constitution, and
it should therefore first be submitted to Congress. Through
his six months in the presidential post, Palacios had made
several contacts with Congress to pass his proposal for
election to a constitutional assembly. However, all contacts
had been fruitless, and that is why he had ultimately chosen
the direct path and even printed the election. But the same
forces that stretched legs for his proposal in Congress now
stretched legs in the Election Commission. The social
movements, indigenous peoples and the peasant organizations
reacted violently to the decision to ban the elections and
therefore resumed their parole: "out with the whole cast" (que
se vayan todos)
The second round of the November 2006 presidential
election was won by left-wing candidate Rafael Correa with
56.8% of the vote. When he joined in January 2007, Correa
declared that "the ill-fated neoliberal cycle has finally
been broken in South America". At the same time, he declared
that he would work for Ecuador's entry into Mercosur to
strengthen integration efforts on the American continent.
In April 2007, a referendum was held on convening a
constitutional assembly. The proposal was approved by 78% of
the vote and was considered by political observers to be a
major victory for Correa, its main advocate. On September
30, elections were held for the Assembly, which was
dominated by Correa's own PAIS alliance.