March 1, 2002
Nowhere is the fragmentation of Ecuadorian society more apparent than in politics. The 123-seat, unicameral Congress contains representatives from 10 different parties (and 13 independents); the biggest party, the Social Christians (PSC) has just 24 members. Even in such a divided chamber, party loyalty is weak. Instead, representatives vote according to the regional or sectorial interests of their supporters, and neither the government nor the opposition has been able to form a working majority.
Gustavo Noboa, Ecuador's president, has shown an uncanny ability to pick a path through Ecuador's political minefield. Will his successor?