Published 21st January, 2013
The PAIS Alliance or Alianza PAIS (the PAIS means Proud and Sovereign Fatherland) was founded on 19th February 2006 by Rafael Correa and others involved in civil society movements, although it claims to trace its origins back to 1999. The party describes itself as Left-wing and believes in Democratic socialism, Christian socialism and Socialism of the 21st century.
In the 2006 general election Rafael Correa stood as the presidential candidate but the party did not stand any congressional candidates. This was because, if elected, Correa was intending to establish a constituent assembly to re-write Ecuador’s constitution. Correa was taken to a second round in the election but was finally elected in the runoff with 56.67% of the vote.
True to his word Rafael Correa held a referendum and 81.72% of those voting called for a constituent assembly. The constitution was rewritten and the party won 80 of the 130 seats in the constituent assembly. In a second referendum around 64% of the people voted for the new constitution.
Fresh elections were called in 2009 and the party held, for the first time in Ecuador, primaries to choose candidates.
In the presidential election Rafael Correa won in the first round with 51.99% of the vote and the party won 59 of the 124 seats in the National Assembly. The party talks about having a Revolución Ciudadana which has five strings; these are political, economic, ethical, social, and educational revolutions. They are also supporters of the idea of closer Latin American integration.
The PAIS Alliance is a member of Foro de São Paulo and the Congreso Bolivariano de los Pueblos.