This article advances the idea that coalition formation and maintenance in highly fragmented presidential regimes is not only crucial to overcoming policy deadlock, but in some cases, critical to ensuring government survival. To advance this argument, the article looks at the formation and demise of legislative coalitions in Ecuador between 1979 and 2006. The empirical data suggest that paradoxically, government coalitions became more difficult to sustain after the adoption of institutional reforms intended to strengthen the president's legislative powers. The adoption of those reforms, it is argued, undermined the legislative incentives to cooperate with the government and helped to accelerate coalition erosion. Not only did the reforms fail significantly to avoid policy deadlock, but in some cases they contributed to the early termination of presidential mandates. This article contributes to the study of coalition survival and how it is linked to policymaking.