Correa Celebrates Victory


With 51% of the votes in his favor, the current president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, secured a four-year second term. Exultant, in the midst of the celebration this follower of Hugo Chavez said he would not hold talks with the opposition because, he said, “that would betray the voters.” This is the first time since 1979, when democracy was established in Ecuador, it is not necessary to define a runoff election. With the elections and the victory of Correa also breaks a string of unfinished presidential term since the nineties. Until the arrival of the current president, Ecuador saw through Corondelet Palace (seat of the executive branch) to a dozen presidents in more than ten years. But not all joy for Correa, despite the political stability that this election could give the country. The desire of the President by the deepening of the “XXI century socialism,” to Chavez, will be a major obstacle at least until the end of this year.

It is the strong impact that the global crisis is having on the accounts of Ecuador. In February, the South American country recorded a trade balance deficit of $ s 217.7 million, becoming the sixth consecutive month showing a negative balance amid the global economic crisis. In that month, exports accounted for about 774.9 million dollars, while imports totaled U.S. $ 992.7 million. In the first two months of the year, the trade balance registered a deficit of $ 681 million against a surplus of $ 880 million in February 2008. In February 2008, these accounted for 1.055 million dollars. The Central Bank projected a trade deficit of U.S. $ 2,500 million for 2009.

In addition, the number of the holding and sale of oil, first and almost exclusive export product, are the not less difficult than the present. Oil exports in February showed a reduction in recording an income 292.9 billion compared to U.S. $ 337.6 million reported in January. Export revenues from oil and Petroecuador fell 28.9% in February to $ 199 million, compared with 256.6 million dollars in January, mainly by movements in oil prices in the international market . In volume, exports of Petroecuador also suffered a fall in the second month of the year, to settle at 212 750 barrels per day (bpd), up 11.4 percent from the previous month. The other major foreign exchange income, the remittances from their citizens emigrated to the United States and Europe also fell strongly. In 2008, remittances reached about 2.821 million dollars, 8.6% less than U.S. $ 3.088 million received in 2007. This is the first year of falling remittances. In previous periods these increased by 18.6 percent in 2006 and 5.5% in 2007. Furthermore, data from social reality does not leave much room for holding Correa. In the first quarter of 2009, the unemployment rate rose to 8.6% from 6.9% in same period in 2008. Last year unemployment was 7.3%. Similarly, underemployment stood at 51.9% versus 52.3% in the first quarter of 2008. The numbers are clear and warned that the party should re-election last long.

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