Center-right candidate Daniel Noboa, the 35-year-old son of a banana tycoon, will be to become Ecuador’s next president, following an election driven by concerns over rising violence and the deteriorating security situation in the Latin American country.
More than 10 million people voted in the presidential election and data from the National Electoral Council of Ecuador (CNE) shows that Noboa received 52.3% of the votes (4,829,130).
Her main political rival, left-wing candidate and first-round favorite Luisa González, obtained 47.7% of the votes (4,404,014), the CNE said.
Noboa was a lawmaker before outgoing President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the legislature and called early elections.
A candidate for the National Democratic Action party, he pledged to create more work opportunities for young people, attract more foreign investment, use technology to fight crime, and proposed several anti-corruption measures , including penalties for tax evasion.
Speaking to reporters after the result, Noboa thanked his wife, parents and God for allowing him to serve his country.
“I also thank all those people who were part of a new young and improbable political project, a political project whose aim was to bring a smile back to the country,” he declared.
“Starting tomorrow, Daniel Noboa, your president of the republic, begins work.”
His rival, González of the Movimiento Revolución Ciudadana party, protégé of former left-wing president Rafael Correa, ran on the promise of increasing public spending and social programs and wants to resolve the security crisis by tackling the causes 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.
“To the candidate now elected president, we send our sincere congratulations because it is a democracy; we have never called for the burning of a city, we have never called fraud,” she said.
Security was beefed up throughout Sunday’s vote, with tens of thousands of police and soldiers stationed at polling stations across the country.
Crime remained at the forefront of Ecuador’s runoff elections, months after the high-profile assassination of another presidential candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, who was assassinated days before the Aug. 20 first round.
The killing has become a tragic symbol of the country’s deteriorating security situation, where rival criminal organizations have staged brutal and often public displays of violence in the country’s streets and prisons in their struggle to control drug trafficking routes. drug.
The electoral participation rate was “historic” at 82.33% despite initial security concerns, said CNE president Diana Atamaint after the poll closed on Sunday.
“The transmission of results was fluid and constant; “Ecuadorians have constantly monitored the votes obtained by each of the candidates, which are the result of the popular will expressed at the polls,” she said after the publication of the results.
“We respected a historic electoral process. The country entrusted us with this mission and today we say to Ecuador and the whole world: “task accomplished”. today democracy won, today Ecuador won.
Before Ecuador, a country of nearly 17 million people, became one of the most dangerous countries in the region, it was known as a relatively peaceful place nestled between two of the world’s largest narcotics producers , Peru and Colombia.
Its deep ports, dollarized economy and corruption have made it a key transit point for drugs headed to consumers in the United States and Europe. Rising violence, coupled with a lack of economic prospects, has also forced many Ecuadorians to leave the country.
“We’re not sure what will end this because we can’t live with this fear” of crime, César Ortiz, a small business owner, told CNN en Español in Quito before the vote.
Ortiz said he hopes that the new president will focus not only on security but also on the economy because “there are so many people who are unemployed, that’s why crime is abundant.”
Whoever wins on Sunday could receive a cursed chalice, say analysts covering the region. “Governing Ecuador right now is hell – this presidency is designed to eliminate you from politics,” Freeman said.
The new president will have relatively little time to find a solution to the country’s woes. They will only remain in office until 2025, which would have been the end of Lasso’s term – a short window for even the most experienced politician to change the situation in the country.