Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa had painted an anarchic vision of “destabilisation after destabilisation, boycott after boycott” should the opposition gain control of Quito in municipal elections on 23 February. Voters did not heed his warning and Quito fell to the opposition, which performed well nationwide. Correa blamed his party Alianza País (AP) for “sectarianism” and promised a shake-up of the party’s provincial leader- ship, but this overlooks his direct participation in the campaign, which he had said was necessary because at stake were not so much local elections as the future of his ‘Citizens’ Revolution’. Correa retains a firm grip on national power but by neglecting local concerns a campaign that started off with the objective of displacing the last remnant of the ‘partidocracia’, the mayor of the coastal city of Guayaquil, Jaime Nebot, ended up in defeat in nine of Ecuador’s 10 most populous cities.

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