Ecuador takes a turn with Guillermo Lasso taking over, amid numerous crises and challenge bridging the rift with Correísmo

Quito. – Former banker and conservative right-wing politician Guillermo Lasso will take office in Ecuador on Monday, a country affected by a “triple crisis” in which he will seek to bridge the gap by defeating Coresmo in the last election..

Laso, 65, who replaced the unpopular Lenin Moreno, inherits “A very strong national situation due to a triple economic, social and health crisis” that has been exacerbated by the epidemicL said France Press agency Political scientist Karen Garzon Sherdick of SEK International University. In this sense, analysts estimate that the new government will have to work along three axes: vaccinating the population against Covid-19, prioritizing public spending and improving productivity.

“The next president must face the three crises in parallel in order to revitalize the economy so that there is a generation of employment and prosperity for the population again,” he said. France Press agency The economist Alberto Acosta Borneo, from the consultant Grupo Spurrier.

The Moreno government, which came to power by the former socialist ruler Rafael Correa (2007-2017) and later became his opponent, realized that Ecuador faced the worst economic crisis in its history in 2020 due to recession and the effects of the epidemic. Which left more than 417 thousand injured and 20 thousand dead.

President-elect of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, with his wife, Maria de Lourdes El Cevar, to obtain from the National Electoral Council (CNE) his credentials as head of state.EFE

Last year, the dollar-dependent Ecuadorian economy, which relies on its oil exports, fell 7.8%, and expects a 3% improvement for 2021, but this projection is not enough, according to Acosta. “The goal of the new president should be to change this scenario. He cannot be satisfied with a growth of 3% because it must be taken into account that it is a recovery from a very strong decline,” he said.

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General discomfort

To alleviate economic difficulties, Moreno resorted to high indebtedness by issuing millionaire bonds and obtaining loans with multilateral organizations, including the International Monetary Fund. Total liabilities jumped to 63% of GDP in December ($ 61.3 billion). Acosta said the Lasso should “prioritize public spending, spending on what is important to stop relying on debt because it is increasingly difficult to get into debt.”

The president-elect, whose main campaign proposal was to vaccinate nine million people against Covid-19 in 100 days, acknowledged that he faces “extremely complex realities, unlimited needs, and very limited resources.” He warned that he would resort to “very creative tax reforms.”

Acosta estimates that along the way, he will have to overcome “the general feeling of pessimism caused by the epidemic, job loss and loss of income.” Between December 2019 and last March, unemployment in Ecuador increased from 4.6% to 5.5% while income poverty increased from 25% in December 2019 to 32% in the same month of 2020..

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Laso, who received 52.36% of the vote, is 4.72 points higher than 36-year-old economist Andres Arause and Delphine de Correa. She won power for the conservative right in Ecuador in the April 11th elections. This ended a series of victories for socialism. “It is clear that the defeat of Andres Arause closes in particular an important chapter in the events of Coresmo,” Garzon Sherdick noted. But he warned that “what this government does or does not do, or how this government is doing, will also have repercussions for the possible return of Coresmo,” whose leader lives in Belgium and is sentenced in Ecuador to eight years in prison for corruption. .

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Upon receiving the president’s credentials and noting Correa and reforming him to allow for indefinite re-election, Lasso said, “Many frustrated Ecuadorians are starting to believe that those who have governed will never relinquish power.” However, Moreno promoted a referendum that nullified the amendment, blocking the way for Korea to return to rule Ecuador.

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno, right, shakes hands with President-elect Guillermo Lasso during a meeting that is part of the presidential transition in Quito, Ecuador, on Monday, April 19, 2021
Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno, right, shakes hands with President-elect Guillermo Lasso during a meeting that is part of the presidential transition in Quito, Ecuador, on Monday, April 19, 2021Dolores Ochoa – AP

The president-elect set his sights on Washington, but also on Moscow. In the economic portfolio, Laso chose the engineer and economist Simon Cueva. The current minister [Cueva] He has visited multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “In those meetings he was very good,” Laso told the Ecuadorian newspaper. trade.

Days before his appointment, Cueva – since April 11 – has activated a series of meetings with ambassadors from Russia, China, the United States, the European Union and the President of Chile, in order to obtain doses against Covid-19.

On the other hand, it is also known that the new defense minister will be Fernando Donoso, who asserts that there will be a “holistic and radical” alternative to the military leadership.. The minister did not mention the new names of those who will occupy the top positions in the three military forces and the Joint Command, but said that the chain of command will continue, according to the newspaper. trade.

The conservative Lasso, who will lead the country for four years, calls his government “confrontation” in an effort to leave behind the divisions between Coresmo and Anticorismo, which have affected the polarized election campaign.

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With the disintegration of forces and the absence of an absolute majority in the one-chamber Congress, his party, the Creando Oportunidades (CREO), had to ally with the center and left sectors to achieve a front that took control. Although this union prematurely terminated the alliance between Lasso and the traditional Christian Social Party (PSC, right-wing), of which he became its president. In this scenario, Garzon Sherdick said, there remains “a fragmented National Assembly and a new government that faces major challenges to governance.”

Agencies of Agence France-Presse and Telam

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