Social Christian Party

Published 21st January, 2013

The Social Christian Party or PSC was founded by Camilo Ponce Enríquez in 1951 but, at that time, was named the Movimiento Social Cristiano (MSC). The party adopted its present name in 1967. It describes itself as Centre-right and although originally a Quito centric party it now gains most of its support today from the coastal regions.

Ponce went on to win the 1956 presidential election with 29% of the vote and was president until 1960.

The party continued to function during the military dictatorship of 1972 to 1979 but fell into disarray when Ponce died in 1976.

Sixto Durán-Ballén appears to have stood for the party on a joint ticket with the Conservative Party in the 1979 presidential election, coming second in the runoff round with 31.5% of the vote (he went on to become president between 1992 – 1996 but not as a PSC candidate). The PSC did less well in the National Congress elections of 1979 winning just three of the 69 seats.

In 1984 the PSC candidate León Febres-Cordero was elected president with 51.5% of the vote in a second round runoff. This was to be the only time a PSC candidate became president. The Febres-Cordero government introduced conservative economic policies but his presidency was marred by accusations of corruption and human rights violations. Success at presidential level did not turn into success at Congress level once more and the party only managed to win nine of the 71 seats in the National Congress that year.

Sixto Durán-Ballén ran for the party once more in 1988 but came third, whilst the party managed to pick up eight of the 71 seats in Congress.

The next elections in 1992 were much kinder to the party and the picked up 21 of the 77 seats in Congress but their presidential candidate, Jaime Nebot, failed to win the presidential election, coming second in a second round runoff with 42.68% of the vote.

Jaime Nebot came second once more in the 1996 presidential election but the PSC emerged from the general election as the largest party with 27 of the 82 seats in Congress. This was to be their best result to date and although they took 28 seats in 1998 it was in an enlarged Congress of 100 seats where they were the second largest party.

The late nineties were the zenith of the PSCs success. In 2002 they managed 26 seats in a 100 seat National Congress but their presidential candidate, Xavier Neira, came fifth. The party dropped once more in 2006, taking 13 seats in the 100 seat National Congress whilst their presidential candidate, Cynthia Viteri came fifth.

In 2009 the PSC allied itself with the Movimiento Cívico Madera de Guerrero. Between them they managed 11 seats with the PSC taking four seats. The alliance didn’t survive and broke up within the year although the two parties have come back together in an alliance for the 2013 election. The PSC has also undertaken an alliance with the Movimiento Creo Creando Oportunidades in the Los Rios Province.

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