Ecuador goes with conservative banker in presidential vote
Voters in Ecuador appear to have turned to a conservative businessman in their presidential runoff election, rebuffing a leftist movement that has held the presidency for over a decade while ushering in an economic boom and then a yearslong recession.
Ecuador looks to runoff vote for president in April
It remains undecided which of the two has the votes to advance to the run-off race in April to face frontrunner Andres Arauz. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)QUITO – Final results from a Feb. 7 presidential election in Ecuador confirmed that former banker Guillermo Lasso came second behind leading candidate Andrés Arauz, meaning the two will contest a runoff vote in April, election officials said Sunday. Pérez alleged fraud after the results that indicated he had fallen just short of defeating Lasso and making it to the runoff. The council “may declare fraudulent electoral results, but the true results are in the hearts of Ecuadorians who supported a new political project that reflects the dreams of a dignified and honest Ecuador,” Pérez tweeted. Indigenous communities led protests in October 2019 that forced Ecuador’s government to back down on a move to end fuel subsidies.
Leftist leads in early returns for Ecuador presidential vote
(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)QUITO – A young leftist backed by a convicted-but-popular former president led the field of 16 candidates in early returns from Ecuador’s presidential election Sunday, which was held under strict sanitary measures due to the coronavirus pandemic. Arauz got 31.5% of the votes, while Pérez had 20.04% and Lasso had 19.97%, according to the Electoral Council of Ecuador. To win outright, a candidate needed 50% of the vote, or to have at least 40% with a 10-point lead over the closest opponent. Pérez's challenge to grab second place surprised some observers as he had trailed behind Arauz and Lasso in pre-election polls. That conviction barred him from running as Arauz's vice presidential candidate.
Ecuador to pick new president amid deepening economic crisis
Supporters of presidential candidate Yaku Perez, representing the Indigenous party Pachakutik, take part in a campaign rally in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. Voters in Ecuador are heading to the polls to pick a new president amid a deepening economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)QUITO – Evidence of the crisis in Ecuador is everywhere: shuttered restaurants, soaring oxygen tank prices and countless “for sale” and “for rent” signs hanging from buildings. Jaramillo said the top two challenges for Ecuador’s next president go hand in hand: A proper vaccination campaign of the majority of the population will be necessary to start the country’s economic recovery. The pandemic paralyzed 70% of businesses last year and left 600,000 unemployed, bringing the country’s unemployment rate to almost 68%.
Legislative election leaves Venezuela in political standoff
(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)CARACAS – President Nicolás Maduro has cemented formal control over all major institutions of power in Venezuela with authorities reporting Monday that his political alliance easily won a majority in congress. Yet he remains a pariah to much of the world following an election critics called deeply undemocratic. “The results of the election show a discouraged, tired people, the vast majority doing everything possible to survive,” Shifter said. The U.S., Panama, Canada and Germany have repeated their condemnation of the the election by Maduro's government following announcement of the results. "The international community now has to decide whether it wants to live with that or restore the democratic path for Venezuela.
Ecuador government leaves capital city amid protests
Ecuador TV via CNN(CNN) - Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has announced that his government will leave the capital city of Quito amid violent protests over his move to end state fuel subsidies. The military stepped in to rescue dozens of personnel held by indigenous groups protesting the end to fuel subsidies, Ministry of Defense officials said Monday. On Monday, Ecuador's Secretary of State Juan Sebastian Roldan asked indigenous groups leading the protests to put an end to the ongoing looting and violence. Moreno blamed foreign influences such as Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and leftist former president Rafael Correa for the unrest engulfing the nation. The president enjoys support from businesspeople and the military, and has moved Ecuador towards the political center after taking over from Correa.