All eight of Ecuador’s presidential candidates say they will maintain the U.S. dollar as the country’s official currency.
Front-runner Lenin Moreno has given one of the strongest defenses for the dollar, saying that its adoption 17 years ago, following the failure of Ecuador’s sucre, restored faith in the economy. “The dollar reestablished trust in our monetary system and was a major factor in the growth we’ve experienced in the last two decades.”
Moreno’s position differs from that of President Rafael Correa’s, who has called the dollar “a financial straight jacket” that should be replaced as soon as possible. Moreno, like Correa, represents Alianza País.
Guillermo Lasso, the Creo party candidate running second to Moreno in the polls, said he too would maintain the dollar and “defend its use against all challengers.” Lasso questioned Moreno’s dollar defense, citing Correa’s desire to establish a regional currency. “The dollar is the bulwark against the disaster in Venezuela that has been supported by our current administration.”
Third and fourth place candidates, Cynthia Viteri (Social Christian) and Paco Moncayo (Democratic Left), also gave their support to the dollar.
“It has been the families of Ecuador who have benefited the most from the stability of the dollar,” Viteri said. “After years of uncertainty with the sucre, they finally had a currency that protected the savings from their hard work. I would never take that away.”
According to Moncayo, the dollar makes sense for Ecuador as a global currency in a global economy. “There is no good argument to leave the current system,” he said. “It has served us well since the collapse in 1998 and will continue to serve us well as we expand our economy into world trade.”
All candidates acknowledged that the strength of the dollar is causing some near-term economic hardship in the regional trading market but say it is more than offset by the stability it provides. “Currencies rise and fall and the dollar is no different,” Viteri said. “But it also gives us the discipline we need to keep our economy under control.”