Information Service of the newspaper En Marcha
Ecuador, October 20, 2002

Elections in Ecuador:
The left wins the first round

In an important result, the left and popular sectors of Ecuador represented by the presidential candidacy of Lucio Gutiérrez won an important victory in the first round of elections. The massive vote for Colonel Gutiérrez and the Popular Unity MPD-15 in all provinces of the country is clear proof that the left tendency has grown.

With 84.85% of the votes counted, the results are as follows:

The tendency shows that when the votes of the small provinces and the countryside come in, the vote for Gutiérrez will increase further, and he should get some three percent more than the second place candidate, the multimillionaire Álvaro Noboa.

Gutiérrez's victory is the defeat of the traditional right of the Social Christian Party (Neira) and also that of social democracy of the Democratic Left (Borja) and Roldós. They are the biggest losers in this process.

On the other hand, the vote for Gutiérrez shows that there is an important popular base in the poorest parishes, cantons and provinces of Ecuador. The organizations of the left played a vital role, as Gutiérrez recognized in his speech an hour after the polls closed, when he pointed out the valor of the MPD as a party that fights for the interests of the country.

In fact, the results of the vote has raised themes related to sovereign development, such as dollarization, the Manta base, the FTAA and the application of imperialist policies.

Surely this same vote will be reflected in the increase in the parliamentary bloc of the left parties and in its presence in greater numbers in provincial and cantonal councils.

The second round

The second round, which will be held in one month, will become another transcendental moment in which it is to be hoped that the positions of the poor will clearly confront those of the rich and those of the nation will confront imperialism.

As the multimillionaire Noboa, the richest man in the country and the 14th richest in Latin America, said on television, the people now have to choose "between the MPD and the communists or the businessmen"; he is trying to frighten them by stating that Gutiérrez means a government like that of Castro or Chávez. Later, he said that it is a choice "between the communists and God." He is trying to take advantage of popular belief, as he did at the end of the campaign when he began to call on his assistants to get themselves blessed.

This is all leading to a greater and clearer ideological and class confrontation in the country. The right, logically, will ally itself in one form or another with Noboa. They are already speaking of the fear of foreign investors or that people will withdraw their money from the banks, with the same intent of frightening new voters who would give their support to Gutiérrez.

José Izquierdo

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