Creation of New Provinces in Ecuador

The maps of Ecuador are about to change. In the past, Ecuador was dived into twenty-two provinces, namely Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Sucumbios, Tungurahua and Zamora-Chinchipe. As of a month ago and again on 16 October 2007, the Ecuadorian government has approved the additions of Santa Elena Province and the Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas Province.

The Santa Elena Province is located in the southwest of the country, with the town of Santa Elena previously falling under the jurisdiction of the Guayas Province. One of Ecuador’s most popular beach resorts, Salinas, will now fall under the new province, securing a steady stream of tourists to the Santa Elena Province. A significant oil refinery that produces large amounts of fossil fuel for the country will also be a part of the new province. Residents of Santa Elena swarmed down on Quito in anticipation of the decision, and took to the streets in celebration and jubilation after they heard the outcome. Not only will the province have Santa Elena under its wing, but has been given Salinas and La Libertad.

Even though the proposal of declaring the Santa Elena peninsula a province, and new provinces in Ecuador in general, was heavily opposed by the right-wing members of government, the proposal was approved with fifty-seven votes to forty-three. Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador, supported the initiative that has left some of the opposing parties disgruntled.

All that remains is for the TSE, or Ecuador’s Supreme Electoral Court, to conduct elections for officials for the new provinces and for the president to appoint the provisional governor. The provisional governor will be responsible for the governing of the province until the officials are elected. During this time, they will work closely with the Inter-Institutional Commission while elections take place.

The creation of two new provinces in Ecuador might take some time to get used to, but the people of Santa Elena could not be happier. Parades and celebrations have been organized in Santa Elena, La Libertad and Salinas, to welcome their new province.