- A weak ruling party and divided opposition leave Ecuador’s presidential race wide open
- The country’s fiscal and economic problems are not susceptible to a quick fix
- The constitution’s “mutual death” clause makes changes of government more likely
Ecuador is in a holding pattern as it gears up for the February 2017 general elections and its first new president in a decade. After speculation that he might lobby for a constitutional amendment to run for a fourth term, President Rafael Correa has decided to sit this one out. That leaves the presidency up for grabs and his ruling Alianza PAIS (AP) movement increasingly exposed.
Not only does the AP appear destined to lose its commanding legislative majority (100 of 137 seats), but the new president will have to confront a stagnant economy staggering under a heavy debt burden. That could signal a return to the political instability that has plagued the country for much of the past half century.