The right-wing candidate unseats Andrés Arauz, in the third attempt to come to power. The correista candidate acknowledges his defeat and asks the winner to seek consensus.
Ecuador has ratified its turn to the right at the polls. Banker Guillermo Lasso this time won the presidential elections after two unsuccessful attempts, in 2013 and 2017. When almost 98% of the votes were counted, the National Electoral Council (CNE) reported that the candidate of the conservative coalition CREO obtained 52 73% of the votes against 47.27% of Andrés Arauz , the dolphin of former President Rafael Correa.
The difference of more than five points in his favor became irreversible on Sunday night. This was immediately understood by CREO supporters in Quito, the capital, and Guayaquil, the coastal city, where they took to the streets to celebrate.
A few minutes later the winner of the contest did. ” Democracy has triumphed . You have used your right to choose and you have used it to choose a new world, different from the one of the last fourteen years,” he said amid the celebrations.
Lasso won his right to go to the second round in February after narrowly beating Yaku Pérez, the indigenous movement’s candidate. During his proselytizing campaign he reiterated that he was the only one capable of preventing the return to power of Correismo. He stirred up the “fear of the past” and the danger that the country would become a new Venezuela .
It was more effective than Arauz and his melancholic insistence that that past was, strictly speaking, a more virtuous time than the present and a possibility of recovering it in the near future.
Political analysts explain Lasso’s victory by a combination of several factors: on the one hand, a good part of the undecided ended up supporting the conservative program. On the other hand, most of the leaders of the original communities , who had a historical confrontation with Correa, as well as the social democratic Left Democrat, refrained from supporting Arauz. More than 1.6 million Ecuadorians annulled their votes, and that also favored CREO’s standard-bearer.
The recognition of Arauz
” It is an electoral setback, but by no means a political or moral defeat ,” Arauz said. In his first speech, he acknowledged that he had not been able to get enough support to resume the progressive path, closed in 2017.
“I will make a phone call to Lasso and congratulate him. I will show him our democratic convictions. We have to build bridges and build consensus . We have to to go back to being a single Ecuador, “he added to his contrite followers.
” This is not the end , it is the beginning of a new stage that is sorely needed for the country,” he said. ” We have been victims of political persecution . We need a real renewal of the ways of doing politics. Mr. Lasso, I invite you to respect the rule of law. We do not want Ecuadorians to continue to be imprisoned for their way of thinking” he added.
The challenges of the new government
“On May 24, we will take responsibility for the challenge of changing the homeland and changing Ecuador for the opportunities and prosperity that we all long for,” said Lasso, who will receive a country whose economy has fallen almost eight points as a result of the pandemic. Some 18,000 people died as a result of covid-19. Positive cases reach 290,000.
Former manager of Coca-Cola, shareholder of Banco de Guayaquil, short-lived Minister of Economy during the financial crash of 1999, Lasso knows that he will have to attend to a sea of unsatisfied demands. Lenin Moreno ends his term with a popularity of less than 7%.
The mismanagement of the health crisis deepened the drift of a government that in November 2019 faced a social outbreak. A 34% of Ecuadorians are poor and good receivers of the 3,338 million dollars in remittances to their families sent in 2020 from the United States and Europe.