Democratic Tradition and the Failed Presidency of Lucio Gutierrez in Ecuador
- In April 2005, Lucio Gutierrez was removed from office in the context of a fast-growing economy. With no economic hardship to fuel social outrage, the failure of Gutierrez illustrates how political and institutional factors can be the most important forces determining presidential survival. In this article, we qualitatively analyse the path toward confrontation between Gutierrez and the congressional opposition which led to his political demise. We find that Ecuador's weak democratic tradition working through more proximate causes - radicalism, normative preference for democratic institutions and a negative institutional equilibrium - coupled with other institutional and political variables accelerated Lucio Gutierrez's fall from power.