Correa Takes on Rightwing and Wins
Leftist Victory in Ecuador
By ROGER BURBACH
March 23, 2007
The two month old government of leftist Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and the popular movements that back him have emerged triumphant in their first battle with the oligarchy and the traditional political parties that have historically dominated the country. Correa in his inaugural address in January called for an opening to a “new socialism of the twenty-first century” and declared that Ecuador has to end “the perverse system that has destroyed our democracy, our economy and our society.”
Correa’s presidency is rooted in a militant mass movement that has been mobilizing and challenging the country’s ascendant economic and political interests for years. The Ecuadorian political system, referred to as a “partidocracia,” is run by factious political parties dominated by oligarchs who pull the strings on a corrupt state that includes Congress, the Supreme Court, as well as the presidency until Correa’s election. Even Michel Camdessus, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, once commented that Ecuador is characterized “by an incestuous relation between bankers, political-financial pressure groups and corrupt government officials.”
The central demand of the broad movement that brought Correa to power is for a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution that breaks up the current dysfunctional state, ends the reign of the “partidocracia,” refounds the country as a plurinational, participatory democracy, reclaims Ecuadorian sovereignty and uses the state to advance social and economic policies that benefit the people, not the oligarchy.
Correa upon his inauguration issued a decree calling for a plebiscite for the people to vote on April 15 for the election of a Constituent Assembly. [Read more...]