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Subscriber sign in. Forgot password? Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution. Sign in with your library card. Congress met in emergency session in Guayaquil the same day, January 22, and ratified Noboa as President of the Republic in constitutional succession to Mahuad. By completing Mahuad's term, Noboa restored some stability to Ecuador.

He implemented the dollarization that Mahuad had announced, and he obtained congressional authorization for the construction of Ecuador's second major oil pipeline, this one financed by a private consortium. Noboa turned over the government on January 15, , to his successor, Lucio Gutierrez, a former army colonel who first came to the public's attention as a leader of the January events that led to Mahuad's departure from the presidency.

Anti-corruption and a leftist, populist platform characterized Gutierrez's campaign. However, shortly after taking office, Gutierrez adopted conservative fiscal policies and authoritarian tactics to combat mounting opposition. The situation came to a head in April when political opponents and popular uprisings in Quito forced Gutierrez to resign the presidency and leave the country.

In the aftermath, Vice President Alfredo Palacio was confirmed as the new president, and a new majority coalition of opposition political parties reclaimed control of Congress. A semblance of stability has returned, but the Palacio administration remains weak amid popular pressure for reform. Government The constitution provides for 4-year terms of office for the president, vice president, and members of Congress, although none of the last three democratically elected presidents have remained in office much beyond two years. Presidents may be re-elected after an intervening term, while legislators may be re-elected immediately.

The executive branch includes 15 ministries.

WikiLeaks Shows Nascent Oil Woes in Ecuador

Provincial governors and councilors, like mayors and aldermen and parish boards, are directly elected. Congress meets throughout the year except for recess in July and December. There are twenty 7-member congressional committees. Justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by the Congress for indefinite terms. Political Conditions Ecuador's political parties have historically been small, loose organizations that depend more on populist, often charismatic, leaders to retain support than on programs or ideology.

Frequent internal splits have produced extreme factionalism. No party has ever elected more than one president in recent years. Although Ecuador's political elite is highly factionalized along regional, ideological, and personal lines, a strong desire for consensus on major issues often leads to compromise. Opposition forces in Congress are loosely organized, but historically they often unite to block the administration's initiatives. Constitutional changes enacted by a specially elected National Constitutional Assembly in took effect on August 10, The new constitution strengthens the executive branch by eliminating mid-term congressional elections and by circumscribing Congress' power to remove cabinet ministers.

Party discipline is traditionally weak, and routinely many congressional deputies switch allegiance during each Congress.


However, after the new constitution took effect, the Congress passed a code of ethics that imposes penalties on members who defy their party leadership on key votes. Beginning with the election, the indigenous population abandoned its traditional policy of shunning the official political system and participated actively.

At a Glance . . .

The indigenous population has established itself as a significant force in Ecuadorian politics, as shown by its early participation in the Gutierrez administration. Industry is largely oriented to servicing the domestic market. Deteriorating economic performance in culminated in a severe economic and financial crisis in The crisis was precipitated by a number of external shocks, including the El Nino weather phenomenon in , a sharp drop in global oil prices in , and international emerging market instability in These factors highlighted the Government of Ecuador's unsustainable economic policy mix of large fiscal deficits and expansionary monetary policy and resulted in an 6.

Shortly thereafter, Mahaud was forced from office, but his vice president who assumed the presidency, Gustavo Noboa, stayed with the dollarization policy and completed the transition later that same year. However, since dollarization, the inflation rate has continued to drop each year until it reached 1.

One of the first acts of the incoming Lucio Gutierrez administration in was the negotiation of a standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund IMF.

Though his administration's fiscal economic policies were sound, the Gutierrez administration was never able to enact the structural reforms the country needed. The IMF standby agreement lapsed in Buoyed by higher oil prices, the Ecuadorian economy experienced a modest recovery in , with GDP rising 2. GDP growth leveled off to 3. Ecuador experienced modest GDP growth of 2. Though Ecuador has a relative abundance of oil reserves, it has been unable to take full advantage of those resources for its own development. Mismanagement, lack of investment, and corruption in the state-owned oil sector have caused declines in state oil production over the last decade.

People and Power - Ecuador: Water or Gold

Commercial disputes as well as judicial and contractual uncertainties have deterred private oil and other companies from investing in the country. The electricity and telecommunications sectors also have similar significant problems, which are costing Ecuadorians hundreds of millions of dollars each year. In October , Ecuador and Peru reached a peace agreement to settle their border differences, which had festered since the signing of the Rio Protocol.

This long-running border dispute occasionally erupted into armed hostility along the undemarcated sections, with the last conflict occurring in The U. Government, as one of the four guarantor nations the others are Argentina, Brazil and Chile , played an important role in bringing the conflict to an end. The peace agreement brokered by the four guarantors in February led to the cessation of hostilities and the establishment of the Military Observers Mission to Ecuador-Peru MOMEP to monitor the zone.

In addition to helping broker the peace accord, the U. The ongoing conflict in Colombia and security along the mile-long northern border are important issues in Ecuador's foreign relations with Colombia. The instability of border areas and frequent encroachments of Colombian guerillas into Ecuadorian territory has led the Ecuadorian army to deploy more troops to the region. Although Ecuadorian officials have stated that Colombian guerrilla activity will not be tolerated on the Ecuadorian side of the border, guerrilla bands have been known to intimidate the local population, demanding extortion payments and practicing vigilante justice.

The close proximity of the border to northern oil fields also has resulted in kidnappings of foreign oil workers by Colombian-based criminals. Ties are further strengthened by the presence of an estimated two million Ecuadorians living in the United States and by , U. More than U. In addition, the U. Peace Corps operates a sizable program in Ecuador. Total U.

The United States is Ecuador's principal trading partner. Those benefits will expire in In May Ecuador entered into negotiations for an Andean free trade agreement with the U. The negotiations are expected to be concluded in Both nations are signatories of the Rio Treaty of , the Western Hemisphere's regional mutual security treaty.

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Although there are problems with money laundering, border controls, and illegal alien immigration, Ecuador shares U. The government has maintained Ecuador virtually free of coca production since the mids and is working to combat money laundering and the transshipment of drugs and chemicals essential to the processing of cocaine. It has recently given greater priority to combating child labor and trafficking in persons.

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Ecuador and the U. Ecuador claims a kilometer-wide mi. The United States, in contrast, claims a mile boundary and jurisdiction for the management of coastal fisheries up to kilometers mi. Although successive Ecuadorian governments have declared a willingness to explore possible solutions to this issue, the U.

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  • S and Ecuador have yet to resolve fundamental differences concerning the recognition of territorial waters. Principal U. Embassy Avenida Patria Quito, Ecuador tel. Consular Information Sheets exist for all countries and include information on entry requirements, currency regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.

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