Ecuador elects a new President and National Assembly
The people of Ecuador have a busy day today as they go to the polls to elect a new president and vice-president, the 137 members of the National Assembly, the Andean parliament and provincial assemblies as well as vote in a referendum on banning politicians and civil servants from having bank accounts or companies based in tax havens.
In the presidential election the incumbent President, Rafael Correa, will not be standing because he has completed his three terms. His political party, the left-wing PAIS Alliance, has selected former Vice-President and United Nations Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, Lenín Moreno, to stand in his place. His election is far from certain and the election is expected to go to a second round runoff on 2nd April. His closest challenger of seven other candidates is Guillermo Lasso of the centre-right CREO (Creating Opportunities). Cynthia Viteri of the centre-right Social Christian Party (PSC) is also being mentioned.
In the presidential election a candidate is required to get more than 40% of the vote and be at least ten points ahead of his closest rival to win in the first round and avoid a second round runoff.
The last opinion polls gave Moreno 25.63% of the vote, Lasso 15.18% and Viteri is on 6.64%. The undecided vote was still around 35% when the last permitted polls were taken last week. Six polls came out on 8th February and we have taken the most reliable, but there were wide variations between the polls which does suggest a lack of reliability in the polling.
In 2013 Rafael Correa won in the first round with 57.17% of the vote whilst his CREO opponent took 22.68%.
In the National Assembly the PAIS Alliance won 100 of the 137 seats with CREO on 11 seats and seven other parties picking up a few seats each.
In today’s election there are 12,816,698 eligible voters who will be choosing from eight presidential and vice-presidential candidates along with 3,793 candidates in other elections across 44,510 polling stations between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time. Voting is compulsory and overseas voting is also taking place.
The new president is expected to take office on 24th May.