University of Pittsburgh
October 18, 2006

Pitt Expert: Ecuador's Presidential Election Reflects Decline of Political Parties

Runoff to take place Nov. 26
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PITTSBURGH-Aníbal S. Pérez-Liñán, Pitt assistant professor of political science, says, "Although it is easy to portray the presidential electoral campaign in Ecuador as an ideological contest between Left and Right, this election reinforces a secular trend in Ecuadorian politics-the decline of political parties and the repeated emergence of successful candidates who despise 'politics' and compromise."

Pérez-Liñán says ideological disputes are of secondary importance when political parties decline. "Ecuador-a country where mass protests have ousted three presidents during the last decade-is likely to remain an unstable democracy until party leaders put their personal disputes aside and develop long-term political agreements," he added.

Pérez-Liñán's academic research includes Latin America, democratization, and political institutions. He is a core faculty member with Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies. His writings have been published widely, including "Evaluating Presidential Runoff Elections," in Electoral Studies, 2006.