After elections, bishops of Ecuador call for building together the common good — By: Catholic News Agency

The flag of Ecuador. Credit: Millenius/Shutterstock. / null

ACI Prensa Staff, Oct 18, 2023 / 18:00 pm (CNA).

The bishops of Ecuador issued a statement Oct. 16 on X about the results of the presidential runoff election held Oct. 15 in which Daniel Noboa Azín became the new president, defeating rival candidate Luisa González.

Noboa, 35, represents the National Democratic Alliance and won with 52% of the vote. When he takes office on Dec. 25, he will become the youngest head of state in the history of the country.

The new president must fill the 2021–2025 presidential term after the current president, Guillermo Lasso, called for a special election in the midst of a political crisis caused by accusations of corruption against him and the trial to impeach him initiated in the National Assembly, the Ecuadorian legislative body.

In their statement titled “Building together the common good,” the Ecuadorian Bishops’ Conference noted that “what matters is the homeland.” The prelates asked elected officials to see “beyond their personal and partisan interests” and urged those who were not elected to refrain from “division and violence.”

The bishops emphasized that “democracy guarantees that the management of the present and future of a country is subject to the will of the people and not to the egotistical desire of a few.” Thus they stressed the importance of “everyone’s participation.”

Referring to the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio on Aug. 9, the bishops said that “with astonishment we have seen how murderous violence marred this electoral process with blood, but today Ecuador has overcome fear.”

“The polls have closed. In each vote, for one candidate or another, there is an act of political responsibility and above all the expression of a dream,” they said.

“There are no winners or losers when what matters is the Homeland, expressed in the pain and suffering of our native peoples, of our children and young people, of our elderly and people with disabilities, of those who have left Ecuador looking for a better future in other countries and of those who struggle every day to put bread on the table with effort and sacrifice,” they observed.

“There are neither winners nor losers when what matters is the person and his dignity and the commitment to defend it in every decision and action above capital, the state, or any structure or system,” they noted.

The bishops’ conference urged those who have been elected to “boldly confront the big problems” that Ecuadorians have, including poverty, insecurity, unemployment, deficiencies in health and education, drug trafficking, and corruption.

The bishops also invited those who have not been elected “to avoid any discourse that promotes division and violence and join their best efforts to achieve governance that finds suitable solutions.”

The bishops called on everyone to put aside polarization in order to be able to “walk together” and bring about “something truly new.”

The remedy, the prelates said, is in good politics. They therefore encouraged “moving from partisanship to participation” and getting actively involved in the advancement of everyone.

They urged civil society and its organizations and institutions not to be content with electing the authorities but also to contribute “the best of each person.”

Finally, they called on Ecuadorans to “look at the present and future with hope and confidence” and to recognize, value, and develop their abilities in order to put them “at the service of the great causes of society, especially those of youth, such as peace, justice, the development and care of the common home.”

As believers in Christ, the bishops committed “to put our talents at the service of those most in need in the different areas where the contribution of the Christian faith is undeniable, such as education, health, social assistance, and the defense of life in all its expressions.”

“As bishops of the Catholic Church,” they concluded, “we want, once again, to reaffirm our strong commitment to continue walking alongside all those who seek a better Ecuador, regardless of their creed or party,” urging them to work for “a “fairer, freer, and more equitable Ecuador.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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