Ecuador is a democratic unity republic where the
president is supreme head of state. Apart from periods of
authoritarian rule (1963-1966 and 1976-1979), the country
has been governed by parliamentary principles throughout the
General voting rights for all citizens over the age of 18
were first introduced in 1979. Although Catholicism is the
dominant religion in the country, the state has been secular
since the early 1900s.
The country is divided into 24 provinces (Galapagos
Islands included), ruled by presidential governors; in
addition, there are three enclaves. The provinces are
further divided into cantons and municipalities.
Separation of powers
Ecuador's governance consists of an executive, a
legislative and a judiciary, as well as a national council
that oversees elections, and a national governing body for
public activity and corruption. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of EC and its meanings of Ecuador.
The executive power is added to the
president-elect and his government. The president, who is
elected for a four-year term, is the chief of defense and
police, and also selects officials in the top positions
within the civil service.
The National Assembly is the legislative power.
This is a one-chamber system consisting of 137
representatives distributed among national and provincial
representatives, as well as equalization mandates.
Representatives of the National Assembly are elected for
four years at a time.
The judiciary consists of a superior authority
council, the Supreme Court, provincial courts, as well as
lower courts - courts, tribunals and litigation courts.
Historically, highland and coastal political elites have
opposed each other, and conservative and liberal political
tendencies have rivaled the presidential power.
The two political centers in Ecuador are the coastal city
of Guayaquil and the country's capital, Quito, located in
the Andean Cordillera (Highlands). These two antagonists'
dominance over national politics was challenged in the
1990s, partly as a result of the emergence of a strong
indigenous movement that helped reform the political agenda.
New political alliances in the 2000s also led a presidential
candidate from one of the Amazon region, Lucio Gutiérrez, to
win the election.
The governance set in Ecuador has been characterized by
instability for large periods. Since independence (from
Spain) in 1830, the country has had 20 constitutional laws,
the last of which was introduced in 2008.
Regime and presidential changes have been frequent. In
the period 1998–2006, for example, three presidents were
appointed before their term expired, as a result of popular
mobilizations. These provisions were the expression of a
deep political crisis and a growing skepticism towards
politicians in general in broad sections of the population.
In the public sphere, casting presidents is now considered
to be a new democratic opportunity that the people can use
when the political system fails.
Ecuador since 2006
With the election of President Rafael Correa as president
in 2006, Ecuador entered a 10-year term (from 2007–2017)
with the same head of state and one dominant political
party, Alianza País. Correa was re-elected in 2009 and 2013
with a startling majority in the first round of elections.
His governments can be said to have restored a general
confidence in politics and politicians in broad strata of
the population, not least through a state-building project
and an active economic redistribution policy. At the same
time, the regime was criticized by the opposition for
advocating strong state regulation and centralization. An
alliance of indigenous and environmental organizations
accused him of pursuing an energy and natural resource
policy that threatened the environment and exposed the
existence of peoples' groups.
With the election of Lenín Moreno as president from May
2017, Alianza País' main lines of policy continue.
Ecuador's national anthem
Ecuador's national anthem is Salve, Oh Patria, mil
veces! ('Be greeted a thousand times, Fatherland!')
With text by Juan León Mera, tune by Antonio Neumane. It was
officially considered a national anthem in 1948 after being
in use since 1865.
Ecuador has voluntary military service with initial
service after selection. The total force figures for
Ecuador's armed forces are 40,250 active personnel, with a
reserve of 118,000 personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, 500
semi-militia will join the Coast Guard.
The army has a strength of 24 750 active personnel. The
material includes 24 light tanks category AMX-13, 123
armored personnel carriers and 49 self-propelled artillery
which 44 self-propelled air defense artillery central M163
Vulcan. In addition, the army has heavy artillery, air
defense artillery, 14 light transport aircraft, 6 training
aircraft and 44 helicopters.
The Air Force has a strength of 6400 active personnel.
The equipment includes 25 fighter aircraft (12 Cheetah and
13 Kfir), 31 transport aircraft, 39 training aircraft (of
which 17 Super Tucano, which can also be used as light
attack aircraft), and seven helicopters. In addition, the
Air Force has anti-aircraft missiles for point defense and
The Navy has a force of 9100 active personnel, including
2,150 Marines and 500 semi-military in the Coast Guard. The
fleet includes two submarines, one frigate, six corvettes,
three patrol vessels, and eight auxiliary vessels. In
addition, the Navy has 13 aircraft, nine helicopters, and
two heavy and three medium heavy drones.
The Coast Guard has 21 patrol vessels.
Ecuador participated in 2018 with observers and a small
number of personnel in the UN operations in Sudan (UNAMID
and UNISFA), and in Western Sahara (MINURSO).