Political Resolution of the XIV National Convention of the MPD
Two years ago the XIII National Convention of the MPD decided that, in order to confront the deep crisis that the country is experiencing, for the benefit of the poor, we had to reinforce the growing restlessness and eagerness for unity of the peoples of Ecuador, their desire for change, at the same time taking advantage of the political division in the oligarchy. With this objective, we decided to unite our wills and efforts together with the political and social organizations, the patriotic military and all those who took part in the uprising of January 21, to form a great popular torrent that, with common aims made concrete in a programme of government that represents the aspirations of our peoples, would find the best standard-bearers, to confront the candidates and parties of the oligarchy who are responsible for the crisis, to defeat them at the polls and to open the doors for the construction of a New Fatherland.
Fulfilling our obligations under this mandate, the National Leadership of the MPD worked dauntlessly to achieve this patriotic and popular accord which could not be fully concretized, but which was expressed, finally, in the support of the MPD for the political alliance of the Patriotic and Pachakutic Society, with Lucio Gutiérrez for president and Alfredo Palacio for vice-president. They aroused enormous sympathy, respect and expectation in the majority of the Ecuadorian population who gave them their vote, as an _expression of confidence that they would begin the desired changes. The electoral contribution of the MPD was decisive for the victory of Gutiérrez in the first round, because the 5% of the vote that it contributed allowed him to win first place. Without this percentage he would not have taken part as a finalist in the second round.
Having achieved this historic electoral victory, our Party decided to accept the proposal of the new President of the Republic, Lucio Gutiérrez, to join the presidential cabinet. We therefore designated comrades Edgar Isch López to assume the post of Minister of the Environment and Ciro Guzmán Aldaz as presidential advisor, to be the voice of the MPD, of the left and the peoples of Ecuador within the Executive.
This correct decision took into account the heterogeneous composition of the cabinet and the government, which we characterized at that time as a democratic government with patriotic positions. Given this situation it was necessary that, within the government there should be voices that firmly expressed the programme which gave rise to it, that would lead to action and oppose the neo-liberal winds of the ‘collaborators’ who came over only in the second round and after the electoral victory
We had to fight, within the government and outside of it, together with the poor people of Ecuador and for their interests, so that the executive would follow the path laid out in its original proposal.
The most salient elements of the programme were to form a government that: would defend national sovereignty, affirm the principle of self-determination of the peoples, confront aggression by the imperialist powers against fraternal countries and peoples such as Colombia, leave behind the neo-liberal policies and the letters of intent imposed by the IMF, which have caused so much damage to Ecuador and to all countries of the world; guarantee conditions for a dignified life for the Ecuadorian people, by taking advantage of the immense strategic resources (oil, electricity, telecommunications and others) that the country possesses and which must not be privatized; grant priority to the reactivation of the small and medium-sized productive apparatus in the city and the countryside, give work to our people and stop the forced migration; and fight implacably against corruption.
President Gutiérrez has been running the government for six months for and some positive measures from the campaign programme have been taken, such as the decision to build the Mazar hydroelectric plant by the Hidropaute agency; restoring the 14th month bonus; recalling the health workers who were fired, denouncing corruption in the previous government; asking and getting Congress to reassign resources for public education (a decision which was not put into implemented); establishing a student transportation pass (which has not yet been carried out); fighting corruption, charging the corrupt bankers and businessmen through the AGD [Agency for the Guarantee of Deposits].
However, fundamentally, the politics of the government today suffers from four basic problems:
1. Growing submission to the International Monetary Fund and the Letter of Intent signed with it;
2. Absence of concrete responses to the social demands and demands for the development of the country;
3. Denial of the labour rights, demonization of trade union organizations and collective contracts, under the pretext of combating privileges, leading to the implementation of a repressive policy which includes firing workers, legal penalties and jail for some; and,
4. Retreat in some aspects of its international politics, such as in respect to ALCA [Central American Free Trade Agreement], the replacement of the proposal for mediation in the Colombian conflict with the proposal for intervention of the United Nations and the statement against Cuba.
The subservience towards the IMF has led the government until now to run the economy no differently from the way the neo-liberal governments did: It continues to pay the foreign debt in an unpardonable manner, without proposing any reduction, but rather increasing the payments, earmarking all additional state revenues for that purpose; making the financial management of the IESS [Ecuadorian Institute for Social Security] dependent on this policy; it raised the prices of fuel and electricity; the domestic price of gas continues to go up; it has decided push at all costs the timetable for the Letter of Intent, which includes privatization of the management of strategic areas of the economy such as electricity and telecommunications, using the argument that they are inefficient and corrupt, as if private enterprise were not; it is proposing to sign oil contracts that are harmful for the country, to freeze wages and reduce rights under the Law of Salary Unification; to hand over management of fundamental projects of public works and production to the same stale oligarchic groups.
In politics, it has granted privileges to the so-called mobile majorities which have benefited the Social-Christian party, who have been given the most serious concessions, such as control of the Constitutional Court, the local trusteeships and other important areas of the public sector, breaking an agreement with the parliamentary parties and blocs of their tendency
Finally, imperialism and the oligarchic, neo-liberal and pro-imperialist sectors, represented in the government mainly by Mauricio Pozo and Patricio Johnson, have ended up imposing themselves. The President of the Republic has adopted their policies as its line of action, starting a process of moving the regime to the right and of abandoning, probably definitively, what was its original democratic and patriotic programme.
For these reasons, the XIV National Convention of the Democratic Popular Movement, resolves:
To withdraw from the government of Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez and assume a position of political independence towards him.
To withdraw its members Edgar Isch López, Minister of the Environment, Ciro Guzmán Aldaz, presidential advisor and others from the public functions that they had been fulfilling with efficiency, firmness and responsibility, defending the programme supported by the people;
To demand from Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez, the fulfillment of the patriotic and popular proposals of the campaign; to support the positive actions that the national government could carry out to the benefit of the poorest people and to fight energetically against those who are harming the life of the workers and peoples of Ecuador and who are hurting the country and its sovereignty.
Quito, July 5, 2003
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