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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07QUITO2207
2007-09-27 11:23:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Quito
Cable title:  

CORREA'S MOVEMENT IN STRIKING RANGE OF A

Tags:   PGOV  KPLS  EC 
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VZCZCXYZ0004
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHQT #2207/01 2701123
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271123Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7815
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 6926
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 3792
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2688
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ SEP LIMA 1955
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 2854
						C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 002207 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/11/2017
TAGS: PGOV KPLS EC
SUBJECT: CORREA'S MOVEMENT IN STRIKING RANGE OF A
CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY MAJORITY

REF: QUITO 2134

Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION JEFFERSON T. BROWN FOR REASON
C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 002207

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/11/2017
TAGS: PGOV KPLS EC
SUBJECT: CORREA'S MOVEMENT IN STRIKING RANGE OF A
CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY MAJORITY

REF: QUITO 2134

Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION JEFFERSON T. BROWN FOR REASON 1.
4 (D)


1. (SBU) Summary: Ecuador's two top polling firms differ on
how close President Rafael Correa's Alianza PAIS movement is
to winning a majority of Constituent Assembly seats on
September 30. Whether or not Alianza PAIS alone gets the
necessary 66 seats to command a majority, it is likely to
control the Assembly in coalition with other leftist parties.
The opposition Patriotic Society Party and PRIAN are also
running strongly, but well behind Alianza PAIS. (End Summary)

AN ALIANZA PAIS MAJORITY?


2. (C) The confidence President Correa exhibited during his
September 12 meeting with the Ambassador (Reftel) was borne
out by results from one of Ecuador's most reputable polling
firms. The head of the firm told us privately that Correa's
popularity jumped back up to 72 percent in mid-September.
The firm projected that Correa's Alianza PAIS (Proud and
Sovereign Fatherland Alliance) movement would win 66 of the
Assembly's 130 seats, an increase from the 54 it estimated in
August. If this projection were to prove accurate, Alianza
PAIS would have a majority of the Assembly's 130 seats and be
able to approve Assembly actions on its own.


3. (C) Another reputable polling firm, however, predicted
that Alianza PAIS would fall short of a majority. It
projected the movement will win 42-51 seats in 20 provinces,
which leaves it under the required 66 even if it gets all 10
seats in the remaining two provinces and overseas. Both
polls have a significant margin of error given the large
number of candidates and complex process for assigning seats
(see Septel).


4. (SBU) Among the opposition parties, the Patriotic Society
Party (PSP) of former President Lucio Gutierrez is expected
to place second with perhaps 17-20 seats, far behind Alianza
PAIS. It is unclear what positions the PSP will take in the
Assembly, aside from core campaign tenets such as maintaining
dollarization. Two parties further to the right and strongly
opposed to the government -- former presidential candidate
Alvaro Noboa's Institutional Renewal and National Action
Party (PRIAN) and the Social Christian Party (PSC) -- may
also pick up 10 to 18 seats combined. No other party or
movement is expected to gain more than one to eight seats.

COALITION CALCULATIONS


5. (SBU) If PAIS does not win a majority, it could still be
in a position to control the Assembly with the support of a
small number of leftist parties such as the Popular
Democratic Movement (MPD) and the Ethics and Democracy
Network (RED).


6. (SBU) It remains to be seen whether PAIS would choose to
act on the basis of a narrow majority or try to extend its
coalition-building to the center-left Ecuadorian Roldosist
Party (PRE) and the newly-formed alliance of eleven leftist
parties and movements (five of which are running candidates).
The center-left Democratic Left (ID) is another possible
target for coalition-building, but it will likely be more
difficult to win over since it is more critical of Correa.


7. (C) Of course party allegiances in Ecuador are fleeting
and corruption is always a possibility. Some of the Assembly
members elected under the banners of PSP, PRIAN, and others
might well decide to throw their support to Alianza PAIS if
it controls the Assembly, particularly if financial
incentives are offered. Similarly, the opposition parties
may offer payments to try to bring members of leftist parties
over to their side to block government proposals.


8. (C) Even if Alianza PAIS wins a majority, the unity of
the bloc cannot be taken for granted. Alianza PAIS is
composed of diverse groups, some on the extreme left and
others quite pragmatic. Keeping Alianza PAIS together may
prove a challenge.

COMMENT


9. (SBU) There is no question but that Alianza PAIS will be
in the lead in the September 30 Constituent Assembly
elections. The questions are how large a lead, how the rest

of the field shakes out, and what that means for coalition
building and Ecuadorians' hopes for a better future.

JEWELL