Personalist Movements

Ecuador Table of Contents

According to Hurtado, political parties were always relatively insignificant in the Ecuadorian political process, whereas individuals transformed into caudillos played the dominant role. None of the personalist movements, however, had more than a temporary impact on politics, usually only as long as their leader enjoyed popularity. Major personalist movements have included the National Velasquista Party (Partido Nacional Velasquista--PNV), organized in 1952 by Velasco; the Social Christian Movement (Movimiento Social Cristiano--MSC), founded in 1951 by former president Camilo Ponce Enríquez; the Democratic Institutionalist Coalition (Coalición Institucionalista Democrática--CID), founded in 1965 by former provisional president Otto Arosemena Gómez; and the Concentration of Popular Forces (Concentración de Fuerzas Populares--CFP), a Guayaquil-based, populist and center-right party organized in the late 1940s as a splinter of the velasquista movement by Carlos Guevara Moreno, a former interior minister. In 1980 a roldosista faction broke away from the CFP and formed People, Change and Democracy (Pueblo, Cambio y Democracia--PCD), which dissolved after the death of its leader Jaime Roldós Aguilera in 1981. The populist Ecuadorian Roldosist Party (Partido Roldosista Ecuatoriano--PRE), led by Abdalá Bucaram Ortiz (nephew of Asaad Bucaram Elmhalim, a staunchly anti-Marxist former mayor of Guayaquil and former leader of the CFP) was founded in Guayaquil in late 1982.

In order to participate more effectively in elections, personalist movements often joined ad hoc coalitions of parties. Every president elected to office since 1944, with the exception of Velasco, owed his victory to a coalition rather than to a single party. Although most of these coalitions were unstable and shortlived , a few had a semipermanent character, emerging from dormancy at each election and representing roughly the same groups and interests each time. One of the most important was the National Democratic Front (Frente Democrático Nacional--FDN), which usually formed around the nucleus of the PLR, frequently along with the PSE. Often more successful than the moderate FDN was the conservative Popular Alliance (Alianza Popular--AP), usually composed of Conservatives, arnistas (members of ARNE), and MSC members. The AP was responsible for Ponce Enríquez's victory in 1956 and congressional victories in 1958 and 1962.

More about the Government and Politics of Ecuador.

Custom Search

Source: U.S. Library of Congress