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Ecuador’s Presidential Elections 2017

Ecuador’s National Electoral Council (CNE) confirmed on Wednesday that Rafael Correa’s candidate, Lenin Moreno and right-wing opponent Guillermo Lasso will contest a second round following last Sunday’s elections. “With 99.5% of votes scrutinised by the provincial electoral boards … I can inform the country that next Sunday, April 2, 2017, there will be a second round of elections,” said the president of the CNE, Juan Pablo Pozo”. More than 12 million 400 thousand Ecuadorians voted last Sunday to elect, in addition to the president and the vice president, the 137 members of the Legislative and five representatives to the Andean Parliament. Election day occurred normally and only minor incidents were recorded, according to the National Electoral Council (CNE). In Ecuador, in order to be elected president in the first round, it’s necessary to obtain more than 50% of the votes or at least 40% and a difference of at least 10% with respect to the second most voted candidate.

Lenin Moreno

Correa’s vice-president between 2007 and 2013, 64 years old, Moreno is the charter of the progovernment Alianza País movement to perpetuate “Socialism of the 21st Century.” Contrary to Correa’s strong image, his “soft and conciliatory” style, according to the president himself, portrays him as someone capable of opening a dialogue with sectors confronted with corruption in the last decade, analysts say. Moreno, was left paraplegic after being shot in an assault in 1998, could become the first Ecuadorian with a disability to take over the presidency. Graduated in public administration with studies in medicine and psychology, he is the champion of social causes after leading the Manuela Espejo Mission, the first diagnosis of the situation of the disabled in Ecuador. “Power is an exercise in humility, service, not vanity,” declared the candidate recently, who writes humor books and in his speeches do not miss the jokes. Married and father of three daughters, born in the Amazonian province of Orellana, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 and appointed in 2013 the UN Assistant Secretary General for Disability

Guillermo Lasso

Former 61-year-old ex-minister of Economy in the government of the overthrown Jamil Mahual and ex-governor of the province of Guayas, Guillermo Lasso, representative of the conservative right, aspires for the second time to the presidency of Ecuador, after losing in 2013 in the first round. He was born in Guayaquil to middle class family. Married and father of five children, he defines himself as an “entrepreneur”. He worked since he was 15 years old, became president of the Bank of Guayaquil even though he left his university studies in Economics, and dedicated himself completely to politics since 2012. “Let’s change” is his motto and his biggest offer is to create one million jobs in four years. Eliminating 14 taxes and attracting foreign investment are other proposals of the candidate of the Creo movement. Correa accused him of participating in the banking crisis of 1999 that led to the country’s dollarisation in 2000, the freezing of deposits and the migration of hundreds of thousands of Ecuadorians.

Salient issues during Campaign

The deterioration of the economy, provoked in part by the end of the oil boom, the indebtedness of the State and the labour situation, dominate much of the candidates’ speech. PAIS Alliance diagnoses economic growth of 1.4% by 2017, while the opposition repeats World Bank forecasts, which foresees a drop of 2.9%. The outbreak of corruption in the public company Petro Ecuador – the opposition and some media have pointed to Vice President Jorge Glas, who has denied the allegations and threatens to go to court – and the bribes paid by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht are ammunition. Corruption is the third concern of Ecuadorians.

Author Name: Grace Avila Casanova

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