Millions in Ecuador head to the polls on Sunday for a presidential runoff

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In Ecuador, millions head to the polls on Sunday for a presidential runoff. The tight election is between the outgoing president’s hand-picked successor – and a conservative former banker.


CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports.

Millions in Ecuador head to the polls on Sunday for a presidential runoff

In Ecuador, millions head to the polls on Sunday for a presidential runoff. The tight election is between the outgoing president’s hand-picked successor – and a conservative former banker. CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports.


Follow Dan Collyns on Twitter @yachay_dc

With the faltering economy a top voter concern, Ecuadoreans will decide between continuing Rafael Correa’s self-proclaimed ‘citizens’ revolution’ or turning to a more pro-business government following the lead of several South American nations.

Opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso, the former director of one of Ecuador’s most important banks, is pledging radical change:

“Change is democracy. Change means that we don’t suffer what Venezuela is living, a one-party dictatorship!”

Lasso has also pledged to remove Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from Ecuador’s embassy in London.

He promises to boost jobs and undo President Correa’s 21st century socialism cutting government regulations and taxes.

But Lenin Moreno, a wheelchair user and former vice president, accuses his rival of being an elitist banker:

“We must choose between a country for a handful of people, for privatization or we can choose a government for everyone, a country for all, a country of citizens not clients, a country of rights not markets.”

A more conciliatory figure than his firebrand predecessor, Moreno just missed the minimum threshold to win the presidency in the first round in February.

This is the tightest election in living memory, say analyst Santiago Basabe:

“I don’t think we’ve ever had such a close election, so hard-fought with such a high level of uncertainty among the population.”

Ecuadoreans are divided.

Whoever wins will have to deal with Ecuador’s steep foreign debts and tackle strong voter demand for jobs.