Former banker Guillermo Lasso defeated the socialist left in Ecuador for the first time in 14 years. His promotion is a punishment for former President Rafael Correa more than a “blank letter” for the right to govern a country in crisis due to the pandemic, according to analysts.
Lasso, 65, was proclaimed president-elect after Sunday’s ballot with Andrés Arauz, the dolphin of Correísmo, 29 years his junior, and who acknowledged his defeat before the vote ended. The former achieves an advantage of almost five percentage points (52.48% against 47.52%) when 6% of the vote remains to be counted.
Here are some keys and challenges to the triumph of the leader of the Creando Oportunidades (CREO) movement, after his defeats in 2013 and 2017.
– Anticorreism –
Lasso had just lost in the first round of 2021 with a difference of almost 13 percentage points against Arauz, until then a former economic adviser unknown to most.
He almost got into the ballot through the window thanks to his minimal advantage over the indigenous and environmental leader Yaku Pérez, who alleged the alleged theft of his votes.
Despite the wear and tear that this struggle left him, he managed to unite anti-Correism under the banners of a right wing that was in the doldrums, even before the appearance of the so-called 21st century socialism led by Correa.
“He won the candidacy that managed to connect with that voter disenchanted with correísmo and disenchanted in general with politics”says Wendy Reyes, a political consultant and professor at the University of Washington.
The future president did not have the unanimous support of the indigenous people, who were divided between the null vote and the support for the former leftist president.
“It seems to me that the vote beyond Lasso is fed up, it is a vote of rejection of what Correa has meant (…) and that dynamic of hate exacerbation”says Pablo Romero, an analyst at the Salesian University of Quito.
During the ten years that he was in power (2007-2017), Correa modernized Ecuador with the resources of the oil boom, but at the expense, according to his critics, of an authoritarian style that gave no truce to either the traditional parties or the political parties. environmentalists who he called childish, as well as the press. He used to refer to his adversaries as corrupt.
“I think the confrontational and revengeful speech motivated us to vote for someone who called for dialogue and consensus.”Like Lasso, Romero believes.
– Conditional support and null vote –
Lasso comes to govern a country divided and seriously hurt by the health and economic crisis that triggered the pandemic, which left more than 17,000 dead in just over a year.
The former banker will succeed the unpopular Lenín Moreno, who became involved in a fierce dispute with Correa as soon as he came to power with his support in 2017.
Moreno narrowly defeated Lasso in what seemed like a triumph that gave continuity to the socialist left. But already in government, he aligned himself with other forces and even had the support of Lasso to sink the indefinite presidential re-election promoted by Correa by means of a referendum.
In Ecuador “there is a governance crisis that deepened in the Moreno government; there is an economic crisis and there is a health crisis and this implies very great challenges”says Reyes.
Lasso, analysts agree, does not exactly receive a blank letter for the next four years.
From the outset, he will not have a majority in Congress and will have to negotiate with Pachakutik, the indigenous party that came second in the legislative elections held in February behind Unión por la Esperanza (Unes), the Arauz movement. CREO, Lasso’s strength, will have minimal representation.
The null vote, promoted by Yaku Pérez, also gained prominence. This option went from representing 9.55% in the first round to 16% in the second round.
“Lasso has to take this alert well to make a government that is absolutely inclusive, that is a negotiation with various social and political sectors, because otherwise he will have an enemy from the Assembly and in the streets that will be haunting him.”says Santiago Basabe, a political scientist at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (Flacso), an international educational organization.
pld-vel / sp / al
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