Ecuador: Correa's Plebiscitary Presidency
Abstract

Abstract:

With the election of Rafael Correa in 2006, Ecuador joined the ranks of Latin American countries that have taken the "Left Turn" in national politics. Correa views his presidency as an opportunity to effect profound political change by convoking a constituent assembly to write a new constitution. In the course of campaigning for the constituent assembly, Correa constructed a powerful hyper-plebiscitary presidency—a mode of governance marked by the president’s recurrent appeals to public opinion and special elections that enhances the legitimacy of the executive at the expense of congress. Using the informal and formal powers of his office, Correa was able to govern "over the heads" of existing institutions and greatly debilitate what remained of the political opposition.