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Ecuador's history

Ecuador history, Fabian Alarcon

In his place, Congress named interim President Fabian Alarcon, who had been President of Congress and head of the small Radical Alfarista Front (FRA) party. Alarcon's interim presidency was endorsed by a May 1997 popular referendum. During Alarcon's presidency, a new constitution was drafted.

 The 1979 constitution would be replaced by this new constitution without coming into effect on June 5, 1998.

Congressional and first-round presidential elections were held on May 31, 1998. No presidential candidate obtained a majority, so a run-off election between the top two candidates--Quito Mayor Jamil Mahuad of the DP and Social Christian Alvaro Noboa Ponton--was held on July 12, 1998. Mahuad won by a narrow margin. He took office on August 10, 1998.

On the same day, Ecuador's new constitution came into effect. Mahuad concluded a well-received peace with Peru on October 26, 1998, but increasing economic, fiscal, and financial difficulties drove his popularity steadily lower.

However, the coup de grace for Mahuad's administration was Mahuad's decision to make the indigenous currency, the sucre (named after a Venezuelan hero of the revolutionary war against Spain), obsolete and replace it with the U.S. dollar (a policy called dollarization).

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