Lawyer Luisa González, linked to former president Rafael Correa, and right-wing Daniel Noboa, will contest the second round of the Ecuadorian presidential election, indicate preliminary results released by the National Electoral Council (CNE) this Sunday (20). The data shows the two candidates with 33% and 24%, respectively.
In third place is journalist Christian Zurita, with 16.3%. Zurita appears on the list of candidates to replace Fernando Villavicencio, who was assassinated on August 9 of this year, two weeks before the election. Close behind is right-wing Jan Topic (14.6%). Otto Sonnenholzner, from the center, got 6.9% of the votes; and indigenous leader Yaku Pérez, with 3.7%.
Villavicencio’s execution left the temperature high in the Ecuadorian elections. The day after the death of the presidential candidate, the car of the candidate for the National Assembly of the country Estefany Puente was shot at in the city of Quevedo, but she survived. A week later, another political leader in the country, Pedro Briones, was also assassinated.
On the eve of the elections, Luisa González lamented the episodes and stated that Ecuador is living “the bloodiest time in its history”. The candidate also criticized the current president, Guillermo Lasso.
“Ecuador is living its bloodiest era. We owe this to the total abandonment of an inept government and a state taken over by mafias. My solidarity hug to the family of companion Pedro Briones, fallen by the hands of violence”, wrote González.
Just a year after Lasso came to power, Ecuador reached the highest homicide rates in its history. In 2023 the situation deteriorated, and the murder rate in the country reached 40 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. From January to June of this year alone, 3,513 of these crimes were registered, an increase of 58% compared to the same period in 2022.
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Presidential elections in Ecuador were supposed to take place in 2025, but were brought forward to this year, after Lasso triggered a constitutional clause known as “cross death”, which provides for the National Assembly to be dissolved and the electoral process brought forward.
The measure was triggered after members of the National Assembly called for Lasso’s impeachment for allegedly participating in an embezzlement scheme. Therefore, the candidate elected this Sunday will serve the remaining year and a half of the current president’s term and may seek re-election in 2025.
Editing: Patricia de Matos