The question of succession is a tricky one for populist leaders. In Ecuador, it has produced a surprising reversal for Rafael Correa, who had thoroughly dominated the political scene for the past decade.
Reports on elections in Bulgaria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Macedonia, Micronesia, Romania, Somalia, and Timor-Leste.
One of the first Latin American countries to make a democratic transition as the 1970s ended, Ecuador struggled in its search for political stability. Now it appears to have more stability, but that stability appears more authoritarian than democratic.
President Rafael Correa, now entering his third term, has built a curious form of populist-authoritarian regime. He champions redistributionism and a kind of technocratic leftism while assaulting the traditional left along with such mainstays of a liberal society as the freedom of the press.
Latin America’s much-discussed political “left turn” has taken two very different forms. Why has the region’s commodities boom led some left-turn states to move toward “plebiscitarian superpresidentialism,” while others have resisted this temptation?
Long an extreme case of institutionalized instability, Ecuador now has a dynamic young president who is determined to remake its constitution, and eventually its society, in the name of "twenty-first-century socialism."
Where indigenous peoples constitute a smaller share of the electorate, their recent inclusion denotes a more generalized opening of the political system to excluded and vulnerable sectors of society.
Massive protest by indigenous groups in both 2000 and 2001 have overthrown one president and weakened another. Though such conflict poses a short-term threat, it may ultimately contribute to democratic development.