With the election of Daniel Noboa, Ecuador selects another center-right president, easing fears of a resurgence of correismo. However, firms should expect the Noboa administration to face tough conditions during its 18-month term. It is unlikely that the Noboa administration will succeed in effectively pushing pro-business policies; rather, the political environment is likely to remain combative, with persistent levels of obstructionism from the opposition.
Daniel Noboa, of Accion Democratica, won the presidency of Ecuador in the second round of elections with 52.1% of the votes, defeating Luisa González of Revolucion Ciudadana, the correista candidate, who obtained 47.9%. Noboa’s surprising advance to the second round of the election was achieved through his outstanding performance in the first-round debate, which allowed him to secure the presidency of a country still marked by strong anti-correísmo sentiment. Noboa now faces the challenge of confronting the party of former President Rafael Correa, Revolucion Ciudadana, which holds the largest number of seats in the assembly.
In addition, Noboa will assume the presidency amid significant challenges in the areas of security and employment. He has introduced the so-called “Phoenix Plan,” which aims to militarize key points such as ports and airports to enhance national security. The 35-year-old president also contemplated the possibility of holding a referendum to reform the judicial system. On the economic and social front, notable initiatives include housing plans, the implementation of grants for pregnant women, and a childcare system. These policies aim to address the immediate challenges in security and employment, the primary concerns of Ecuadorians.
Noboa, the country’s youngest president, positioned his candidacy as an alternative to traditional politics, as Ecuador was disappointed with Guillermo Lasso’s administration and the traditional political parties. Despite his victory, Noboa faces significant challenges, including a weak political base and an opposition in the assembly dominated by Revolucion Ciudadana. He will need to solidify his political identity and seek alliances with other sectors to avoid political obstructionism like former President Lasso encountered. Furthermore, his government is expected to be characterized by election campaigns for 2025, the El Niño phenomenon, and the pressure to fulfill his promises in a short period. Therefore, he may also have to deal with social mobilizations if he fails to meet citizens’ demands. To avoid this, Noboa will have to present urgent bills to pressure the National Assembly. This will ensure that the National Assembly can focus on addressing escalating violence and avoid dealing with secondary issues. To ensure a successful mandate and his goal of being re-elected in 2025, it will be imperative for Noboa to manage a good relationship with Ecuador’s National Assembly, where his party does not have a strong presence.
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