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Otto Arosemena


Otto Arosemena Gomez (1925-1984) was President of Ecuador November 16, 1966 to September 1, 1968.

Arosemena was born in Guayaquil to Luis Alberto Arosemena Tola and Mercedes Gomez Santistevan on July 19, 1925. He came from a well-known Guayaquil family; his cousin and his cousin's father had both previously served as president. He went to elementary school at San Jose de los Hermanos Cristianos School and to high school at Salesiano Cristobal Colon High School and Vicente Rocafuerte High School in Guayaquil. He graduated from the University of Guayaquil in 1955 with a degree in law. He was already involved in public life during his education: in 1951, he was named a member of the Electoral Tribunal of Guayas. Later, he became president of the tribunal.

Beginning in 1954, his political ascendancy was vertiginous. In 1954, he was elected Deputy for Guayas Province in the National Congress; he was reelected in 1956. In 1957 he was elected president of the Chamber of Deputies, in 1960 he was elected Senator and member of the Monetary Board on behalf of Congress, and in 1961 he was named President of the Monetary Board and Vice President of the Senate. He fought against the military junta that in July 1963 had overthrown his cousin, President Carlos Julio Arosemena Monroy. In 1965, when the country was facing one of its worst political, social, and economic crises--a result of dictatorial misrule--he founded a new political party in Quito called the Democratic Institutionalist Coalition . One year later, he was elected Deputy of the Constituent Assembly held by "President" Yerovi Indaburu. The Constituent Assembly elected Arosemena President of Ecuador on November 16, 1966.

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