Overview and context
Visualise data on the map
Nationally Determined Contribution (UNFCCC website)
Ecuador was the first Latin American country to successfully move from military rule to a multi-party decentralised democracy based on the rule of law, following a referendum in 1978. However the Republic has endured recurrent periods of political instability during the past decade that have eroded the strength of the state, and weakened the public sector. Historically there has been little co-operation between political parties and the political instability is reflected in the fact that few recent leaders have finished their term in office: there were seven Presidents between 1996 and 2007.
These factors contributed to Ecuador’s constitution being rewritten in 2008, the country’s 20th such change. In 2009 the unicameral 137-seat National Assembly was created, which replaced the Legislative Commission. Assembly members were last elected in 2013 by popular vote for a four-year term on a party list proportional representation system. The next election is scheduled for 2017. The new constitution also allows the president and vice-president to be elected for four-year terms. The president in turn appoints a 38-member cabinet. These changes appear to have heralded a new period of political stability, with the incumbent President being re-elected in early 2013.
In the judiciary, the National Court of Justice is elected by an independent body of professionals, the Judiciary Council. Judges are elected for nine years. Candidates for the Constitutional Court are selected by the president, government officials and the Supreme Court, with the judges finally appointed by the National Assembly for two-year terms.