Ecuadorean President Jaime Roldos Aguilera has won the first round in a bitter power struggle between him and his former mentor, Assad Bucaram. Monitor Latin America correspondent James Nelson Goodsell writes that Mr. Roldos has managed to outmaneuver Mr. Bucaram in the legislature and to emerge the more powerful. At issue was an attempt by Mr. Bucaram to get Interior Minister Carlos Feraud dismissed. The attempt failed in a 33-to- 27 vote in Ecuador's single-chamber parliament.
The vote is impressive because Mr. Bucaram, a popular former mayor of Guayaquil, the Country's largest city, has long been regarded as Ecuador's leading politician. Mr. Bucaram's defeat clearly singled a shift in the balance of power away from old-time political forces toward the populist philosophy of the young Mr. Roldos, who last year handily won the presidency, becoming the youngest chief executive in Ecuador's history.