• Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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35-year-old Daniel Noboa wins Ecuador presidential election

Daniel Noboa

Banana entrepreneur Daniel Noboa will become Ecuador’s youngest ever president as he defeated leftist politician Luisa González in elections on Sunday, the head of the electoral authority CNE has said.

Thirty-five-year-old Noboa of the centre-right National Democratic Action alliance led led González, from the camp of ex-president Rafael Correa, by 52.30 pet cent to 47.7 we cent with more than 90 per cent of votes counted.

González congratulated Noboa on his victory.

“Today we made history,” Noboa said on social media platform X.

“We are going for a country… where promises do not remain in the electoral campaign and corruption is punished,” he added.

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Voter turnout was about 82 per cent, CNE head Diana Atamaint said.

Some 13 million Ecuadorians were eligible to cast their ballot following an election campaign marred by the killing of one of the contenders amid a surge in crime nationwide.

Noboa is the heir to his father Alvaro Noboa’s banana business empire.

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The campaign leading up to Sunday’s elections was overshadowed by the death of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, who was shot dead on Aug. 9 after a campaign event in Quito.

The government blamed organised crime for his death.

Ecuador serves as a transit country for cocaine, and several crime syndicates are battling for control of the smuggling routes.

Villavicencio had announced that he would crack down on corruption and crime if he were to gain the presidency. He had reported on corruption of ex-president Correa’s government (2007-17) with fellow journalist and friend Christian Zurita, who was fielded by his party Construye (Build) as his replacement in the race.

Last weekend, seven suspects thought to have been linked to Villavicencio’s murder were found dead in prison.

Read also: Fernando, Ecuador’s presidential candidate shot dead

In the first round of voting on August 20, González had come out on top, however none of the candidates achieved the neccessary majority to avoid a run off.

The elections had been brought forward after conservative President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the National Assembly amid impeachment proceedings against him for alleged embezzlement.