Center-right candidate Daniel Noboa, 35, son of a banana magnate, become the next president of Ecuador, following an election driven by concerns about rising violence and worsening security situation in the Latin American nation.
More than 10 million people have voted in the presidential elections and data from the National Electoral Council of Ecuador (CNE) show that Noboa obtained 52.3% of the votes (4,829,130).
Her main political rival, the leftist candidate and favorite in the first round, Luisa González, obtained 47.7% of the votes (4,404,014), the CNE said.
Noboa was a legislator before outgoing President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the legislature and called early elections.
The National Democratic Action party candidate has pledged to create more job opportunities for young people, attract more foreign investment, use technology to fight crime and has suggested several anti-corruption measures, including sentences for tax evasion.
Speaking to reporters after the result, Noboa thanked his wife, his parents and God for allowing him to serve his country.
“I also thank all those people who have been part of a new, young, improbable political project, a political project whose purpose was to bring a smile back to the country,” he said.
“Starting tomorrow, Daniel Noboa, your president of the republic, begins to work.”
His rival, González, of the Citizen Revolution Movement party, a protégé of former leftist president Rafael Correa, ran with the promise of improving public spending and social programs and wants to address the security crisis by solving the root causes of violence, such as poverty and poverty. inequality.
González was the favorite in the first round of voting.
She conceded to Noboa after the result was announced, saying she would congratulate him on his victory.
“We offer deep congratulations to the candidate now president-elect because it is a democracy; “We have never asked for a city to be burned, we have never gone out to shout fraud,” he stated.
Security was tight during Sunday’s vote with tens of thousands of police officers and army personnel stationed at polling stations across the country.
Crime continued to be a central issue in the second round of Ecuador’s elections, months after the high-profile murder of another presidential candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, murdered days before the first round of the August 20 elections.
The murder became a tragic symbol of the worsening security situation in the country, where rival criminal organizations have been carrying out brutal and often public displays of violence on the country’s streets and prisons in their battle to control drug trafficking routes.
Electoral participation was “historic” at 82.33% despite initial security concerns, CNE president Diana Atamaint said after polls closed on Sunday.
“The transmission of the results has been fluid and constant; We Ecuadorians have permanently followed the votes obtained by each of the candidates, which are the result of the popular will expressed at the polls,” he stated after learning the results.
“We have completed a historic electoral process. The country gave us this mission and today we tell Ecuador and the entire world a task accomplished; “Today democracy won, today Ecuador won.”
Before Ecuador, a nation of nearly 17 million people, became one of the most dangerous countries in the region, it was known as a relatively peaceful place located between two of the world’s largest narcotics producers, Peru and Colombia.
Since then, its deep ports, dollarized economy and corruption have made it a key transit point for drugs reaching consumers in the United States and Europe. The growing violence, coupled with the lack of economic prospects, has also forced many Ecuadorians to leave the country.
“We are not sure (what) will end this because we cannot live with that fear” of crime, small business owner César Ortiz told CNN en Español in Quito before the survey.
Ortiz saying He hopes that the new president will focus not only on security but also on the economy because “there are so many people unemployed, that’s why crime is rife.”
Whoever wins on Sunday can get a cursed chalice, say analysts covering the region. “Ruling Ecuador right now is hell; this presidency is designed to eliminate you from political life,” Freeman said.
The new president will have relatively little time to work on a solution to the country’s problems. They will serve only until 2025, which would have been the end of Lasso’s term, a short period for even the most experienced politician to turn things around in the country.