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Editorial Election Ecuador and Bolivia

Editorial Election Ecuador and Bolivia

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Published by: Juan Carlos Ladines Azalia on Nov 18, 2012
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11/18/2012

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After Hugo Chavez, who is coming next? Elections in Ecuadorand Bolivia
Hugo Chavez has won the election in Venezuela for a third mandate(2013- 2019). The media and international organisations haverecognised the triumph of Chavez (54,42%), but it cannot be deniedthat it has also been a victory for the opposition leaders. HenriqueCapriles (who obtained 44,55%) has shown the possibility of constructing a united opposition against a mediatise Chavez. In thatsense, the construction of democracy now depends not only onChavez, with his “XXI socialism” discourse, but also on oppositionleaders to capitalise the vote and produce concrete proposals thatcan be identified by the population. A simple “No Chavez” is not goingto work.But are the effects of a contesting opposition, creating spill over intoother Latin American countries? Two forthcoming elections in Ecuadorand Bolivia is an example of how the power Chavez still latent (butless significant) over the region.
Ecuador: From instability to durability?
Rafael Correa has announced that he will run for a third period forPresident in Ecuador. Can this guarantee that Ecuador will becomemore stable as a country? This is probably the most difficult answerthat Correa and his political party “Alianza Pais” will attempt to ask.Since mid 90’s Ecuador has suffered from weak political institutions,starting with the president. This instability has triggered revolts anderoded the remains of Ecuador’s political and economic system. Withthe entrance of Rafael Correa in 2007, the political image of thepresident has been partially restored.How strong is Correa against its advisors? During the period 2009 –2012, Correa, on the domestic level, has the back up of theparliament. This has allowed him to produce economic reforms with aleft wing orientation. On the international level, Hugo Chavez was oneinfluential supporter of all actions done by CorreaEven there with a considerable number of political parties in Ecuador.Each of them has a specific agenda that made it easy for Correa toshow a coherent political discourse. In that sense for the comingelections, political opposition is expected to produce agreements withthe consequence of losing the trust of the public. On that idea, if theopposition wants to remain on the political scenery, they must renewtheir political leaders in order produce a coherent discourse that canchallenge Correa’s mandate (much similar to the strategy done inVenezuela by Capriles). The main objective should be to obtainmajority in the Parliament (although Correa has threatened todissolve the Congress in various occasions).
 
On the economic sphere, Correa has focussed on the exploitation of natural resources, which has given him, in the short term, financialbudget to invest in infrastructure (with a social profile). Still, aneconomy heavily dependent on natural resources can be dangerousin the long term; an economy that is not diversified does not produce jobs.Correa’s government has provided Julian Assange (founder of Wikileaks) political asylum and prevent his extradition to the UnitedStates. Correa has seized the opportunity to highlight his internationalimage as the new political figure that can contest the US on theinternational dimension.With election to be held on March of 2013, Correa’s possibility of being re-elected for a third mandate looking likely. Unless theopposition put forward important and dramatic changes, nothing elsecould be expected. However the question remains, will this thirdperiod bring the peace and stability to Ecuador and construct solidpolitical and economic institutions.
Bolivia: Does Evo needs the back up of Hugo Chavez?
Although Evo Morales, has been reluctant to express his intention toanother re-election, his party “Movimiento al Socialismo” (MAS) andother close political sectors (coca leaf producers) have announcedhim as a candidate for the Presidential Election of 2014. Politicalopposition has declared that this re-election would go against theconstitutional mandate.Bolivia has suffered from political and economic instability since 90’sdecade. Evo Morales has been one of the few presidents to completetwo complete mandates. Indeed this has been a democratic triumphin a country that always has suffered from the lack of it. The socialism promoted by Evo Morales has been focussed onreturning the “social” property of land to the peasants, whoseeconomic conditions have always been difficult. In that sense, Moraleshas battled with mining and gas corporations with the objective of redistributing that land towards agricultural purposes.Although these policies have shown success during his first politicalterm, in his second term new problems have arisen. Several strikesare occurring in the country. This unsatisfied environment is comingin from many social sectors: police, health, transport and landowners.As a result 59% of the population is not in favour of a third period. The government has shown inefficiency in trying to solve theseproblems.So Morales cannot offer continuity of his political program, due to the

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