Deutsche Welle (English edition)

Ecuador election: Ex-banker Guillermo Lasso wins presidency

Lasso, a proponent of tax cuts and austerity, has defeated socialist economist Andres Arauz in Ecuador's presidenti­al runoff, with the majority of ballots having been counted.

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Conservati­ve ex-banker Guillermo Lasso won Ecuador's presidenti­al runoff on Sunday with 52.5% of the vote, declaring himself president-elect with more than 96% of ballots counted. His opponent, socialist economist Andres Arauz, received 47.4% of the votes and conceded the race.

"It's a day in which all Ecuadorean­s decided their future, they have used their vote to express the need for change and the desire for better days," Lasso told supporters in a victory speech.

"I congratula­te him on his electoral triumph today and I will show him our democratic conviction­s," Arauz said in comments conceding the race to Lasso.

Arauz previously declared victory earlier in the day, citing an exit poll that showed him with a 1.6% lead. He won in the first round of the election in February but failed to win enough of the vote to avoid a runoff.

What are the political views of Lasso and Arauz?

Lasso believes in tax cuts to boost the economy, and is also a proponent of measures to reduce public debt. He has previously ran for the presidency two other times.

Arauz believes in raising taxes on the wealthy, and wished to renegotiat­e Ecuador's debt with the Internatio­nal Monetary Fund. His mentor is former leftist President Rafael Correa, who is living in exile in Belgium with his wife after receiving an eightyear prison sentence on corruption charges in his home country.

What's the political situation in Ecuador?

Lasso will succeed current President Lenin Moreno, who is deeply unpopular. In 2019, protests rocked Ecuador, due to Moreno's decisions to implement austerity measures and cut oil subsidies.

Moreno congratula­ted Lasso in a tweet and wished him success.

The election comes as Ecuador grapples with the health and economic consequenc­es of the coronaviru­s pandemic. So far, more than 17,000 Ecuadorian­s have died of the virus, straining the country's healthcare system.

wd/sri (Reuters, AFP)

 ??  ?? Ecuador's president-elect, former banker Guillermo Lasso
Ecuador's president-elect, former banker Guillermo Lasso

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