GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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-
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