Country Listing

Ecuador Table of Contents



Government: Democratic and unitary state with republican, presidential, elective, and representative government. Under 1979 Constitution, chief executive is president of republic, elected to four-year term by majority popular vote. Reelection of incumbent not permitted. President's varied executive duties include enforcement of Constitution; approval of laws; maintenance of domestic order and national security; determination of foreign policy; and assumption of emergency powers during times of crisis. Principle of "legislative coparticipation" also allows president to share in formation of laws as well as in the execution and application of laws. Unicameral National Congress enacts legislation; reforms and interprets Constitution; establishes revenues; approves public treaties; appoints high-level government officials from lists submitted by president; and reviews executive branch budget. Judiciary is responsible for technical matters.

Politics: Political parties suffered from factionalism and weak organization; were often overshadowed by personalist movements. Persistent regional rivalries between Quito and Guayaquil also contributed to contentious political debates. In May 1988, Borja, leader of Social Democratic party, the center-left Democratic Left (Izquierda Democrática-ID), defeated Abdalá Bucaram Ortiz of populist Ecuadorian Roldosist Party (Partido Roldosista Ecuatoriano-PRE) in second round of presidential elections and assumed presidency in August 1988, succeeding longtime rival and conservative-turned-populist León Febres Cordero Ribadeneyra (1984- 88).

International Relations: Borja administration maintained good relations with United States. In contrast to Febres Cordero administration, also pursued more active relations with Third World, multilateral organizations, Western Europe, and socialist countries. Protracted border dispute with Peru strained relations between the two countries.

International Agreements and Membership: Party to InterAmerican Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance of 1947 (Rio Treaty). Member of numerous regional and international organizations, including Organization of American States, United Nations and its specialized agencies, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Andean Pact, Latin American Economic System, Latin American Energy Organization, Latin American Integration Association, Nonaligned Movement, and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Data as of 1989