Most Ecuadorians say country is on the ‘wrong path,’ show little enthusiasm for February election

Dec 10, 2020

According to a Gallup / Cedatos poll released Tuesday, the vast majority of Ecuadorians believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and have little hope that a new government, to be elected in February, will be able to make significant improvements.

In a poll taken last week, Ecuadorians said they were pessimistic about the country’s future and had little interest in the February national elections.

In the poll taken last week, 89.5 percent of respondents said the country is on the “wrong track,” with 57.5 percent saying that the economy is the biggest problem. Only 6.5 percent said Ecuador is on the right path for recovery from the Covid pandemic and the economic crisis while 54.5 percent said they were “pessimistic” about the country’s near-term prospects.

Particularly troubling to pollsters was the fact that there is little interest in the February national elections that will choose a new president and National Assembly. “Of special interest is the low level of hope that respondents showed toward the election and the prospect that a new administration and assembly will set the country on the right path,” Gallup / Cedatos said in its polling notes. “The economic damage inflicted by coronavirus health restrictions has put the country in a generally bad mood although we must point out that we see similar attitudes throughout Latin America.”

In addition to the economy, poll respondents listed public indebtedness as Ecuador’s most pressing problem (32.2%), followed by unemployment and underemployment (25.3%), corruption and government mis-management (17%), mis-management of the Covid-19 pandemic (15.8%), crime (6.3%) and education (3.4%).

Only 6.7 percent of the poll’s 1,800 participants said President Lenin Moreno was doing a good job, down from 67 percent in late 2017. Faring even worse, was the National Assembly, which received only a 4.5 percent positive rating.

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Two-thirds of respondents said they had “little or no interest” in the February election with 58 percent saying they would not go to the polls at all if voting was not mandated by law.

Asked about their preference of presidential candidates, 23% said they favored right- center Guillermo Lasso, 13 percent would vote for Correista Andrés Arauz while 10.7% favored leftist Yaku Pérez of the indigenous party. Almost 40 percent said they would choose the “none of the candidates” option on election day, a historic high for the category.

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