The Ecuadorian presidential election took place yesterday and it seems likely that a runoff election may be needed. Despite celebrations by the incumbent president Rafael Contigo and his hand-picked successor Lenín Moreno, no candidate has secured enough votes to win outright.
On the same night of a referendum on tax havens and 137 national and provincial assembly members, the presidential election took place – stealing the limelight completely. Not all votes have been counted but these are the results so far:
- 38.9% – Lenín Moreno – PAIS Alliance
- 28.5% – Guillermo Lasso – Creating Opportunities Movement (CREO)
- 16.5% – Cynthia Vireti – Social Christian Party 81.51% of votes counted.
An update will follow when the results are officially released.
In order for a candidate to avoid a runoff election, they must either receive +50% of the vote or +40% of the vote and have a 10 point lead over their closest rival.
So far, Moreno has fallen just short of the 40% mark needed to ensure victory. The PAIS Alliance candidate Moreno has received 38.1%. It seems that Moreno will achieve the +10 point lead over the right-wing CREO candidate Guillermo.
No Third Term
Rafael Correa, the incumbent president and self-styled leader of 21st Century Socialism, is stepping down after serving the maximum of 2 terms in office.
A movement called Rafael Contigo Siempre (Always with you Rafael Contigo) was founded to try to amend the constitution to allow Contigo to run for a third term in office. He stated however, that he would not run for a third term anyway opting for retirement instead.
Polls generally agreed that Lenín Moreno was favorite to win the election. Despite a lead in the polls for Moreno, there were clear divisions amongst the left-wing voters after a decline in government popularity amidst
Opposition candidates, including Guillermo Lasso attacked the government with allegations of election-corruption as well as attacks on economic policy.
Election corruption allegations have been dismissed by the government, as the delegations of the Union of South American Nations and the OAS were invited in to oversee the vote. Furthermore, complaints of inconsistencies in the electoral roll were similarly dismissed as a mere 99 cases were filed and resolved.
Right wing parties have failed to rally behind one candidate so far, helping to maintain a left-majority.
Should Moreno fail to win outright, a runoff election will be held on the 2nd of April. There are differing reports as to who will be the favorite to win in a runoff. On the one hand, left-wing supporters may rally to keep the right wing Lasso out of power. On the other hand, right-wing parties may set aside their disputes to support a shift in policy towards the center.