Gonzalez, Noboa take lead in Ecuador election with 10% vote count

Quito, Aug 20 (EFE).- Leftist candidate Luisa Gonzalez and center-right businessman Daniel Noboa were leading Sunday as the vote count reached 10 percent in Ecuador’s presidential elections.

Gonzalez, running for the Citizen Revolution movement led by former President Rafael Correa, holds 32.61 percent of the votes, while Noboa has 24.66 percent.

With 16.33 percent in third position is murdered candidate Fernando Villavicencio, whose votes will fall to his replacement, journalist Christian Zurita. In fourth place is former legionary and security specialist businessman Jan Topic, with 14.60 percent.

If these trends continue, there would be a second voting round on Oct. 15 between the two candidates with the most votes, as candidates require at least 40 percent of the votes and a difference of less than 10 points over the rest to win the first round.

There are eight candidates in contention to succeed current President Guillermo Lasso, and complete his 2021-2025 term, interrupted by the head of state in May by invoking a special constitutional mechanism.

The president dissolved the National Assembly, with an opposition majority, when it was preparing to vote on his dismissal as the last step in a political trial where the opposition had accused him of alleged embezzlement, a charge he denies that forced the current elections.

More than 13.4 million Ecuadorians were summoned Sunday to the polls to elect a new ruler and the 137 new members of the assembly, in addition to two environmental consultations to prohibit oil and mining, respectively, in both natural areas.

The elections took place without major incidents and had a participation of 82.26 percent, amid a state of emergency decreed by the government after the murder of Villavicencio to reinforce the custody and security of the voting centers with the police and the armed forces.

The process is carried out in the worst security crisis in the country, due to a wave of violence that authorities attribute to organized crime and drug trafficking that has caused Ecuador to go from 5.8 homicides to 25.32 homicides per 100,000 people in five years, the highest in its history. EFE


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