On Sunday, February 19th, Ecuadorians voted for President, the members of the General Assembly and the Andean Parliament.
“Ecuador has voted in general elections that could see the country move from the left to the right like several other South American countries in recent months”
After days of uncertainty and people protesting for prompt results, Ecuador’s presidential election will go to an April runoff between candidate Lenin Moreno – Alianza Pais (leftist political party) and the banker Guillermo Lasso – CREO (right political party)
Moreno served as Vice president from 2007 to 2013 during the first term of the actual government with President Rafael Correa.
He needed to secure at least 40% of the votes and maintain a 10 point lead over Lasso to win outright. With 99,5% of votes counted, Moreno is ahead with 39,35% against 28,10% for Lasso, which means they will go to a runoff in April.
Lasso offers to revive the economy (dependent mainly on exports of oil) by slashing taxes, fostering foreign investment and creating a million jobs in four years.
Moreno vowed to continue with the social and economic gains of the past decade and promised to work with the opposition in order to guarantee stability in the South American nation, saying he believes in the power of unity and dialogue.
A referendum on banning elected officials and public servants from having bank accounts or companies based in tax havens was also held. The question was:
Do you agree that for those holding a popularly elected office or for public servants, there should be a prohibition on holding assets or capital, of any nature, in tax havens?
This proposal was approved by voters with 54.97%, giving them one year to transfer their assets or be removed from their posts.
“Outside the region, much of the interest in the election focuses on what the outcome will mean for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his ability to remain at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Lenin Moreno, the ruling party candidate, who is Correa’s hand-picked successor, has indicated he would back Assange’s continued stay.
But his main challenger, former banker Guillermo Lasso, has indicated in interviews that he would evict the Australian activist within 30 days of taking office”