Yesterday, organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Guayaquil, in the Convention Center, between 19:00 and 22:00, the presidential debate was conducted with 6 of the 8 candidates who run for the Presidency of Ecuador, in the elections of February 17, 2013.
Six themes identified publicly by the Chamber, public safety, employment, investment, freedoms, development models and tax systems were the ones that candidates would have to develop according to their plan of government.
Participants were: Lucio Gutierrez from the Partido Sociedad Patriotica (PSP), Alvaro Noboa from the Partido Renovador Institucional Accion Nacional (PRIAN), Nelson Zavala from the Partido Roldosista Ecuatoriano (PRE), Guillermo Lasso from the Creando Oportunidades movement (CREO), Mauricio Rodas from movement Sociedad Unida Mas Accion (SUMA) and Norman Wray from the Ruptura 25 movement, who had two interventions for each question:
First issue – Security
- Gutierrez said he would ask for visas to foreigners in order to control the entry of people who contribute to insecurity in the country.
- Noboa said he is willing to use all state resources to reduce poverty levels and thus make the nation safer.
- Zavala attributed insecurity to the lack of love of Ecuadorians and indicated that more love is needed to reduce the negative feeling that influences crime.
- Rodas said he will implement the program Safe Ecuador and explained that this will have two parts, the first focusing on education, the second, a culture of reporting crimes.
- Wray said that it takes a regional level integration, which would be supported by the countries of UNASUR.
Second issue – Poverty
- Noboa exemplified with first world countries how to eradicate poverty and recalled the Marshall Plan.
- Zavala emphasized that they should re-emphasize the issue of agriculture.
- Lasso focused his argument on health: “We need to reach all corners of health and we will achieve this by decentralizing health.”
- Rodas announced the plan Youth Employment, which will provide jobs to people from 16-30 years with no previous experience required.
- Wray said the success resides in legal stability.
- Gutierrez recalled his time as president: “In my government, poverty fell to historic rates.”
Third issue – Investment
- Zavala said that in order to make a good investment, honesty should prevail, so the typical “business” would be stopped.
- Lasso referred to private investment and its increase, thus decreasing state investment.
- Rodas dedicated his speech to the small and medium enterprise: “We will improve private investment in seed capital in order to increase Micro-enterprises.”
- Wray emphasized in the promotion and development of the manufacturing industry.
- Gutierrez spoke of promoting agriculture.
Fourth issue – Freedoms
- Lasso said his proposal to promote freedom of expression in the country will be the release of seized media.
- Rodas pointed to one thing, which was reforming the immediate reelection of President.
- Gutierrez imitated Lasso’s proposal.
- Zavala pledged to strengthen the family bond so that there is ample freedom from the collective belief in God.
Fifth issue – Development Models and Tax Reforms
- Gutierrez said that the only models that helped were the ones that tries to eradicate poverty.
- Rodas spoke of Human Development Bond and the increase that would be made on it.
- Lasso saw a need to support the economy in the venture, which is why he promised that in the first ten days of his eventual government, the Assembly will send a tax reform to eliminate nine “unnecessary” taxes.
- Wray spoke of boosting production agreement and a public private fiscal agreement.
- Noboa called to emulate the Chinese model.
- Zavala appealed to enhance structural pillar of morality as development.
The debate ended with a message from each of the participants, who invited to raise awareness of the proposals expressed in the debate in order to choose correctly on February 17 at the polls. (MZ)