Monday, April 16, 2007

"Ecuador por el cambio"

Well, the usual ecuadorian political crisis has been abroilin for the past few months... i’ve refrained from posting here because it’s really quite boring. The long and the short of it is that the newly elected left-wing president campaigned on a promise to amend the constitution to reduce the power of Congress (which he rightly pointed out is corrupt and dominated by old party interests). Of course, as part of this master plan, his party didn’t run any congressional candidates, so he just set himself up for a showdown with a hostile congress over a Constitutional Assembly. So there’s been all this political back and forth which ended up in 57/100 congressmen getting kicked out of office, effectively halting the political process. And there was a mess with some judges in there too. Add a dash of violent protests, illicit congressional meetings, populist bluster from Presidente Correa, and you have the classic Ecuadorian political scene... a whole lot of fuss and no actual progress. (The Economist said all that a lot more elequently.)

So why am I bothering to bore you with the details today? Well, my daily email from El Comercio finally had some decisive news: they held the referendum yesterday and the people overwhelmingly voted to hold the Co Assembly. So maybe, possibly, someday, some good might end up coming out of this?! (Before the inevitable coup...)

UPDATE: I just got an email from Rebecca, recently returned to Quito from Cuba. She says:
The asamblea was approved, Correa canceled all of Ecuador’s debt with the IMF, and he wants to kick out the World Bank’s rep. in Ecuador!!
Well, that is big news. Much happier than domestic headlines today.

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