Democracy Dialogues: Ecuador, Elections, and the State of Democracy

Risa Grais-Targow discussed President Guillermo Lasso's remaining time in office and the upcoming elections.


  • Risa Grais-Targow, Director of Latin America, Eurasia Group 
  • Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

"We were really scared about the prospect of this muerte cruzada because we thought it was going to trigger kind of social chaos," said Risa Grais-Targow of Eurasia Group to AS/COA Vice President Eric Farnsworth during a Democracy Dialogues conversation on Ecuadoran President Guillermo Lasso's decision to dissolve Congress. "The day after, everyone kind of had a sigh of relief and seemed to very immediately turn their attention towards these new elections, I think, as a chance to kind of reset politically," said Grais-Targow. 

Lasso also announced he would not run for reelection, opening the door for new leadership to take office on August 20. Grais-Targow highlights security as a major concern for voters in the upcoming election, followed by the economy and corruption. 

Additionally, Grais-Targow addresses concerns about the state of the country's electoral system, given Ecuador's history of malignant practices by various electoral actors, including courts, political parties, and candidates. However, despite the many unknowns, "we can have confidence in the electoral system," said Grais-Targow, citing a consensus among actors to reset politically after years of political unrest.

Democracy Dialogues is a series of conversations we need to be having now on the state of democracy in the Americas. Hosted by Eric Farnsworth, these one-on-one interviews with leading democracy practitioners explore the most difficult issues of regional democratic governance with an eye toward pragmatic, well-calibrated solutions.

Past featured guests have included Colombia's then-President Iván Duque, NBA Basketball Star Enes Kanter Freedom, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, CubaDecide founder Rosa María Payá, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly Brian Winter, and founder and Editor of Nicaragua's Confidential Carlos Fernando Chamorro.

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