With a New President, Ecuador Seeks to Heal Divides


At his swearing-in ceremony as Ecuador’s new president in late May, Guillermo Lasso promised to usher in a new political era in the South American nation ravaged by COVID-19, an economic slump and autocratic hyper-partisanship.

“I have not come to satisfy the hate of a few but the hunger of many,” the conservative former banker and Coca-Cola executive told the National Assembly, in a message clearly aimed at healing and unifying the country. “My strength will not come from how much I raise my voice to shout but rather from how much I listen to the people before I speak.”

Since then, Lasso, 65, has made a respectable start toward turning that lofty rhetoric into public policies that will have a positive impact on ordinary Ecuadorians’ lives, despite his CREO party having just 12 of the 137 seats in the unicameral legislature.

His first key step was to form a legislative alliance with several center-left parties, including…

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