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Ecuador's new president vowes to change nothing

The new leader still seeking  for international acceptance pledges to complete ousted Lucio Gutierrez's term.

The new Ecuadorian government which rose to power after a popular rebellion ousted former President Lucio Gutierrez, says is not ready to change any of the politics that led its predecessor to collapse. The new leader and former Gutierrez's vice-president, Alfredo Palacio, pledged to respect earlier controversial military treaties with the US Governemnt, maintain the US dollar as the local currency and, as desperately seeks for international acceptance, vowes to complete term.

As calm does not come to the Capital, Quito, Alfredo Palacio also vowed not to run as a candidate for elections in October 2006, saying he planned to fulfill his "obligation to finish the term and turn the country over in an orderly fashion to the next president." If nothing is changed, Palacio's plans could be easily frustrated.

According to reports from Ecuador and world's main capitals, not a single foreign Government has yet accepted Palacio's rule. In the meantime, the ousted President found political asylum in Brazil, after the new government authorized Gutierrez's departure by plane last weekend.

The Organization of American States has demanded an explanation about how Congress could justify its decision to remove Gutierrez for "abandonment of the post" when he was still in the Government Palace issuing orders. The regional body said it would send a high-level diplomatic delegation to investigate whether the ouster was constitutional.

By the time being, the only political capital that enjoys Mr. Palacio is the hate Ecuadoreans express against the former President Gutierrez, something that Palacio has taken as a charte blanche to his rule. That's well far from reality. Ecuadoreans risked their lives to oust Gutierrez to revert a decadence process that have led this South American Andean nation to its poorest social records in history.

Gutierrez's rustic maneouvres with national institutions were only the top of the iceberg of a system corrupted to its roots, which also includes Palacio as one of his executors. The Ecuadorean people is well aware of this and do not trust in Palacio as Palacio presumes.

Gutierrez was the third leader of this unstable, oil-rich Andean nation forced from office in eight years. He took office in January 2003 as a populist, anti-corruption reformer but soon angered many Ecuadoreans by adopting economic austerity measures. Many also were upset by growing accusations of nepotism and corruption in his inner circle.

Palacio is not an outsider and is co-responsible in Ecuador's tragedy, If he is not ready to change anything, then the people of Ecuador will be ready to change him.

On the photo: Ecuador’s new leader, Alfredo Palacio.

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