Results of the elections in Ecuador: Correísmo leads the race for the second round followed by businessman Noboa

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The candidate Luisa González, in Canuto, Ecuador.HANDOUT (via REUTERS)

The first official results began to clear the electoral panorama in Ecuador. The correísmo candidate, Luisa González, remains in the lead (33%), although far from a victory in the first round, as the polls had measured. The businessman Daniel Noboa gave the surprise of the day, by placing himself in second position and earning a place in the second round (24%), according to the first data. Noboa, the youngest of the candidates at 35 years old, took his participation for granted on October 15 and announced that he will fight against correísmo.

Christian Zurita (the substitute for the murdered Fernando Villavicencio) and Jan Topic, the so-called watch Ecuadorian, remain in third and fourth position, although almost 10 points below Noboa, which keeps them from continuing in the race. The first to withdraw from the electoral race in view of the preliminary results was Otto Sonnenholzner, former vice president of Lenín Moreno, who with barely 10% of the minutes published came out before his followers to acknowledge his defeat. Soon after, Topic and Zurita followed suit.

Noboa's success was not seen coming, neither the polls nor the electoral radar had paid more attention to him and left him out of a second round. His participation in the presidential debate last weekend, days after the assassination of Villavicencio, could catapult his candidacy to the applause of some analysts. The young businessman, a member of the Ecuadorian economic elite, is the son of millionaire Álvaro Noboa, who tried to become president up to five times without success.

Elections in Ecuador 2023
Daniel Noboa, after voting in Manglaralto, Ecuador.PRESS DEPARTMENT DANIEL NOBOA (via REUTERS)

Once the scrutiny is over, a new electoral campaign will begin in which two models of the country will be measured, something similar to what happened in 2021. On the one hand, correísmo, on the other, the economic and business elite. Two years ago the battle was won by the banker Guillermo Lasso, but both the country and correísmo were at very different times than today. The Citizen Revolution of former President Correa is at its best moment after years of decline, as reflected by his victory in the regional and municipal elections in February. The country, for its part, is experiencing the greatest crisis of insecurity in its history.

In the midst of the state of emergency, election day passed without incident, although the candidates had to go to vote amid tight security measures. The assassination of Villavicencio, an assassination that shook the campaign and showed Ecuadorians the most real face of a violence that does not stop, tarnished the campaign and gave an emotional component to his candidacy, which was continued on his behalf by his friend and journalist Christian Zurita, who voted dressed for the war front, surrounded by soldiers and shields, with a helmet and bulletproof vest.

President Guillermo Lasso, who did not stand for re-election, assured that with these early elections he would return to the people the power he had been given to govern. Lasso decided to shorten his term by surprise last May, when he announced the dissolution of the Assembly and the electoral call. The president was then immersed in a political trial for alleged corruption. The president who wins at the polls in October will govern only until the end of Lasso's term, that is, 18 months.

A year and a half that seems short for the challenges that Ecuador faces and that have become evident in this campaign. Insecurity is already the main concern for all citizens and tackling it does not seem easy. In these last three years, violence has grown hand in hand with the increased presence of drug trafficking groups from Colombia and Mexico, which have established themselves in the country and fight for control of the areas, especially on the Pacific coast. In places like Guayaquil, some polling stations woke up armored to ensure the safety of citizens who have long since stopped walking the streets calmly.

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