What to Expect from the Presidency of Daniel Noboa in Ecuador?

What to Expect from the Presidency of Daniel Noboa in Ecuador?

Opportunitas Advisors

October 19, 2023

Daniel Noboa won the presidential election with 51.83% of the votes, while Luisa González received 48.17% of the vote. The rapid rise of Daniel Noboa Azín’s candidacy is a phenomenon that will require some time for experts to draw conclusions and lessons from. In this blog post, we will focus on what we can expect from Noboa’s presidency, who was chosen to complete Guillermo Lasso’s term.

How did Noboa position himself?

Daniel Noboa claims to be a center-left candidate, stating that he has progressive ideas on social issues, such as support for the LGBTQ+ community, security, education, employment, healthcare and honesty as the foundation for managing state funds. He also supported the proposal to keep Yasuní oil reserves underground.

 

Noboa’s self-identification as center-left may be related to Guillermo Lasso’s government low popularity, as the President-elect knows that being associated with the right could link him to a continuation of the current government. Therefore, Noboa campaigned as an anti-politician, emphasizing change: “Time for a New Ecuador.”

 

His practical sense in his discourse, moderate positions, and distancing from the Correa-anti-Correa polarization served Noboa very well. This reveals that the electorate wants to move away from polarization, lack of public safety, daily violence, and focus on practical and immediate solutions.

What are Noboa's main proposals?

Politics: Noboa plans to hold a referendum in the first 100 days of his presidency. The questions will focus on five areas: health, economy, security, terrorism, and institutional reform.

Security:

  • Installing floating prisons on barges to incarcerate dangerous criminals far from the coast and prevent them from operating from prison.
  • Eliminating the drug use table.
  • Creating a jury system for serious crimes.
  • Investing in technological advances, such as drones and radars, to counter organized crime on roads and borders.

Economy:

  • Keep dollarization.
  • Eliminating the Foreign Currency Exit Tax (ISD).
  • Reducing the current 12% VAT on the purchase of construction materials to 5%.
  • Attracting American companies to the country.

Social:

  • Providing a $60 food allowance for mothers.
  • Increasing the basic monthly pension for IESS retirees to $400.

Other top-priority issues Noboa will need to address include the El Niño phenomenon, the Social Security crisis, and an estimated fiscal deficit of approximately $5 billion.

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The National Assembly Challenge

To advance his proposals, Noboa will need support to secure majorities in the National Assembly, an institution with a highly fragmented makeup. The Revolución Ciudadana bloc will have 52 seats, followed by Construye with 29 assembly members. The PSC and ADN alliance, which supports Noboa, obtained 14 seats each. The remaining 28 legislators belong to other political parties.

 

This configuration will require him to seek political alliances, and therefore the distribution of public institutions to political allies to secure votes in the Assembly will come into play. In any case, it will be interesting to see how Noboa approaches the relationship with an Assembly of which he was part, and which has a tarnished reputation, characterized by obstructing the government’s work. In case of potential gridlock, Noboa has announced that he will present urgent legislative projects each month to pressure the Assembly and keep them from focusing on less relevant matters.

 

The Assembly’s actions will be crucial because it’s where the CREO political project was ultimately sabotaged, to the point that they declined to participate in these elections. This situation highlights the need for transparent political agreements at the negotiating table and in front of the public.

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