- Economic model based on oil rent is failing
- President seeks to deflect anger by sitting out 2017 election
- Fragmented opposition will find it difficult to unite
Ecuador's oil-based economy was already in trouble before a devastating earthquake struck on April 16. If Rafael Correa’s socialist government botches the relief and reconstruction effort, it may lose the 2017 elections and scuttle a possible comeback by the incumbent president in 2021.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador killed over 650 people, injured thousands more and left 25,000 homeless. The disaster could not have come at a worse time for the country: GDP was already forecast to contract by 2 percent in 2016, while the government is contending with a budget deficit.