Last Sunday, the 11th of April, was a historical day for Ecuador. After an exciting 2nd election round, 14 years of ‘correismo’ have come to an end. Our new president, the conservative Guillermo Lasso, is proposing a radical change of direction.
This election campaign was completely different from any other. No mass gatherings, hardly any caravans, but lots of online campaigning and social media coverage instead. It was characterised by TikTok videos, rousing songs, scantily clad models, video messages from famous Ecuadoreans, and candidates accusing each other of lying. And most of all, scaremongering, by telling people what a terrible situation they’d end up in, if the opponent won the election.
These presidential elections were more dualistic than ever before; a choice between continuing with the current, interventionist, populist ‘correismo’ and starting on a completely new path.
It’s crystal clear that Guillermo Lasso won the election because the majority of the country doesn’t want four more years of the same. The population is fed up with ‘correismo’.
The new leader Guillermo Lasso is a former banker, who’s all about free trade, a strong private sector, less intervention and keeping the American dollar. His focus is on stimulating the economy.
Growers are probably pleased with the outcome. Although Lasso announced he wants to increase minimum wages by 25% to 500 dollars per month from the 1st of January 2022, most of his government policy will benefit the flower industry. The new president wants to strengthen the ties with the United States, for example. This relationship cooled significantly during the past 14 years. He also wants Ecuador to join the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. Another important point of his campaign was the tax reform, for which he proposed that investments in production, innovation, education and employment must be rewarded in the form of tax benefits.
All in all, great plans. But the biggest challenge, as often, will be finding sufficient support among a fragmented congress. A congress where the ‘correismo’ still holds the majority.
So, time will tell!
Victor van Dijk,
Area manager South America, FM Group
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