The candidates for the elections in Ecuador seek to make a name for themselves

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Candidate Luisa González participates in campaign activities in Quito (Ecuador).José Jácome (EFE)

In less than a month and a half, Correísta Luisa González, the first woman who could become president of Ecuador, and Daniel Noboa, the youngest candidate to run in a runoff, will have to add support among an electorate shocked by violence. , the crimes and worn out by the political noise to which it has been subjected since 2020, in which the country has gone from one campaign to another. They are two options with opposite ideologies, González is the option of the Citizen Revolution party of former president Rafael Correa, which defines itself as progressive left, although both the party and the candidate, who was also an assembly member, have always shown a conservative stance on issues such as LGBTI marriage and abortion due to rape. Noboa, for his part, defines himself as center-right, despite the fact that the National Democratic Action alliance that sponsors him is defined as left-wing. On October 15, one will be elected president.

Correismo uses to its advantage the 48 mayoralties it won in the February regional elections, including the largest cities in the country, Quito and Guayaquil. In addition, they captured an important space with the prefectures that lead the provinces. “They come to these elections strengthened by the local campaign they had won,” says Stephanie Macías, political strategist, and “as local leaders have not yet given results, they are not going to have a vote of rejection of local governments, as could happen. in elections in 2025″. This strategy is already visible in different parts of the country, where some mayors and prefects are in the streets campaigning in favor of González.

Political analyst Pablo Pardo believes that González has to demonstrate her own leadership, not just that she belongs to a political party, to “convince that she can do it on her own.” He believes that with the strategy of the first round, with the slogan of “we were better before” and “we already did it”, in which Correa's image and voice stand out more, they would not give him the numbers to reach the Presidency. “The average age of the Ecuadorian is 28 years old, which means that many of the voters have no electoral memory. When they argue that they already did it, there is a voter who did not experience that,” adds Macías.

According to the analyst, Correismo should seek to raise its voter ceiling (it had 33% in the first round) among young people and the undecided. González seems to know this, aware of the rejection that the figure of former President Correa still generates in part of the population. In the last week, the candidate has presented herself as lighter, more personal, closer, with more youthful language and a speech aimed at that group. Even after a period of absence from his number two, Andrés Arauz, he returned to the political scene with videos on Tik Tok in which he offers work and education to young people. The challenge for the Citizen Revolution candidacy is to balance the balance against the anti-correista vote, which was represented by Fernando Villavicencio, murdered on August 9 while leaving a political rally in Quito. His replacement on the ballot, Christian Zurita, obtained 16.37% of the votes.

Daniel Noboa (with 23% of the votes in the first round) has his father, Álvaro Noboa, who reached the second round three times of the five times he ran for the Presidency. “Noboa is not as popular as it is believed, the surname has been on the ballot this whole century,” says Oswaldo Moreno, political consultant. Macías agrees with this: “citizens are familiar with the surname Noboa, to the point that Daniel took the name again.” jingle representative of his father's campaign because of the memories it generates.”

For now, the rest of the parties that were left out of the second round have not shown their cards and their support for October 15. Only Jan Topic, known as the Ecuadorian bukele, confirmed as soon as he knew outside the race that he would support Noboa. The movements of the rest of the formations in the coming weeks will be key to assessing where the balance is moving and where the ceiling of Correism and anti-Correism is.

Insecurity, Pardo explains, is the “elephant in the middle of the room and people's biggest concern,” but neither of the two candidates represents the imaginary of a heavy hand in the fight against insecurity. “The candidates are going to try to direct attention towards what they believe are their strengths, in the case of Noboa, the economy, and González, in the social sphere, because neither has the archetype or the track record to be those.” bukeles that promise to put an end to organized crime,” he adds.

The vote on October 15 will be emotional due to fatigue, apathy and fear, so the candidates will have to readjust strategies in a country where elections are marked by violence. Ecuadorians endure constant terrorist attacks that change the dynamics and life of the country from one day to the next, as it has already done in this electoral process in which the candidates tour the country with vests and strong security measures.

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