Thursday, June 16, 2011

Seeds of ‘Good Living’ in Ecuador?

By René Ramírez, Roberto Navarrete
New Left Project
June 16, 2011

René Ramírez
René Ramírez is Ecuador’s National Secretary of Planning and Development. He previously worked as an academic and is the author of several books related to alternative views on economic and human development. Ramirez spoke to Roberto Navarrete during a recent visit to the UK about what his government is trying to achieve in the wider context of Latin American politics.

In May this year there was a referendum in Ecuador to reform the Constitution. Can you tell us a little more about this and what issues were at stake in the consultation?

Constitutional reform is at the centre of our project to transform the political framework of the country. A socialist project implies a separation of the state from the dominant economic interests in the country. There can be no truly socialist transformation while the state is co-opted by economic elites.

We have been in government for nearly four and half years and I can honestly say that this separation has not yet happened. This is not because the government did not wish this to happen. The executive branch has become de-corporatised. It has not happened because certain economic interest groups have been seeking impunity from the judicial system in relation to acts of corruption, as has happened throughout history, in order to accumulate wealth.

So, without carrying out a profound reform of the judicial system it will never be possible to separate the state from the economic interest groups. That explains the amount of money that went into opposing the reforms.

Read more HERE.

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