Government of Ecuador

Elections are coming up on February 17 here in Ecuador. The President, Rafael Correa, is up for reelection and the whole country has turned into a giant advertisement. People paint their preferences on their houses or on highway fences. You can't drive anywhere without seeing giant endorsements. Here are some photos I snapped recently along the highways of Ecuador:

Political Advertisements painted alongside the highway

Political Advertisements painted alongside the highway

Political Advertisements painted alongside the highway

Political Advertisements painted alongside the highway

'NO A LA CORRUPCION'


I thought this would be a good time to share something interesting about the government in Ecuador. Last year, when I was teaching democracy to my middle school humanities class, we discussed the 3 branches present in most governments today. I realized through a little research that Ecuador actually has 5 branches of government! Kooky!

1. Executive- Rafael Correa is an interesting character. All I can say is that people have very strong opinions regarding Correa.
2. Legislative- La Asamblea
3. Judicial- Corte Nacional de Justicia

The two extra branches seem a little strange to me:

4. Electoral Branch- The whole purpose of this branch is to oversee and administer elections, so it only functions once every four years. Seems to me like the other branches can't be trusted to prevent election fraud?
5. Transparency and Social Control Branch- Coming from the US, the title of this branch of government just sounds like Ecuador is admitting defeat. Who needs an entire branch of government to make sure the other branches aren't corrupt? The whole purpose of this branch of government is to fight corruption within the government and make the government accountable for its actions.

Considering Ecuador feels like a relatively stable place to live, with a developed middle class, and not as much poverty as many other places I have been in Latin America, something's working. As odd as the structure of the government may seem to a foreigner, they probably have good reasons for these seemingly extra branches of government.

I also wanted to add that Ecuador is currently on it's 20th constitution. Let's see how long this one lasts!!

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