Ecuador’s Indigenous Presidential Candidate

Support for former vice-president León Roldós fell this month in Ecuador, according to a poll by Informe Confidencial. The first round of presidential elections will take place on October 15, 2006.  If no candidate recieves more than 50% of the votes, a second round will take place on November 26, 2006.  Roldós is in the lead, followed by Congress vice-president Cynthia Viteri of the Social Christian Party (PSC).  Former economy minister Rafael Correa of Alliance Country (AP) is a close third.  Both frontrunners said they would seek a free trade agreement with the U.S. if elected, but Viteri is seen by international investors as the most market-friendly candidate of the two.

Other contenders include Gilmar Gutiérrez of the Patriotic Society Party (PSP), Marco Proaño Maya of the Movement for Democratic Vindication (MRD), Fernando Rosero of the Ecuadorian Roldosist Party (PRE), Luis Villacís of the Popular Democratic Movement (MPD), Jaime Damerval of the Congregation of Popular Forces (CFP), and Luis Macas of the Confederation of Indian Nations (CONAIE).

The Pachakutik Indigenous Movement [Movimiento Indígena Pachakutik (MPK)], the political arm of the Confederation of Ecuadorean Indigenous Nationalities [Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de Ecuador (Conaie)] elected Luis Macas as their presidencial candidate.  Macas, president of the Conaie, was elected by delegates of the group at their assembly in late May of 2006.  Conaie is the principle social force in Ecuador, and indigenous people represent 8% of the total population of Ecuador (over 13 million) according to the government, and 23% of the total population according to Pachakutik.

Though Macas is not expected to win, his candacy is designed to draw attention and support for Ecuador’s indigenous population.  Pachakutik will keep alliances with various social organizations and other leftist parties in order “to generate a great unity of the people.  The important thing is that all the people enforce a strategy that goes toward the benefit of the country,” said Gilberto Talahua, the coordinator of the Pachakutik.  Talahua considers Macas’ candidacy “not only as a factor of popular unity, but a real alternative power . . . This is a forceful response to the demands of the country , which is tired of the traditional parties, of the old politicians who have lead the country into the present miserable situation.”

Polling Data

Sept. 2006

Aug. 2006

Jun. 2006

León Roldós (RED)




Cynthia Viteri (PSC)




Rafael Correa (AP)




Álvaro Noboa (PRIAN)