Leftist president breezes to re-election in Ecuador
QUITO, Ecuador — President Rafael Correa, a dynamic leftist who has championed Ecuador's lower classes with generous social spending but faced wide rebuke as intolerant of dissent, coasted to a second re-election on Sunday.
Correa won 56.7 percent of the vote against 24 percent for his closest challenger, former Banco de Guayaquil chief Guillermo Lasso, with 36 percent of the vote counted.
So confident was Correa of victory that he appeared on state TV less than an hour after polls closed, hugging jubilant supporters in the Carondelet presidential palace.
He then addressed a cheering crowd from its balcony.
“This victory is yours. It belongs to our families, our wives, our friends and neighbors, the entire nation,” Correa said. “We are only here to serve you. Nothing for us. Everything for you, a people who have become dignified in being free.”
Lasso conceded as first official results were released, congratulating Correa for “a victory deserving respect.”
Former President Lucio Gutierrez won 5.9 percent. The rest of the vote was split among five other candidates.
Correa told reporters that his goal is to further reduce poverty, which the United Nations says dropped from 37.1 percent to 32.4 percent since he first took office in 2007, as he deepens what he terms his “citizens' revolution.”
Correa, 48, has brought uncharacteristic political stability and modest economic growth to this oil-exporting nation of 14.6 million people that cycled through seven presidents in the decade before him.
He has raised living standards for the poor and widened the welfare state with region-leading social spending, though human rights groups say he bullies anyone who gets in his way and civil liberties have suffered.
Correa's result topped his April 2009 re-election, when he won 51.7 percent of the vote. That election was mandated by a constitutional rewrite approved in a referendum. Correa is legally barred from another 4-year term — unless he seeks to amend the constitution.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Comets hold life building blocks
- Scientists warn about killer robots
- Vibrantly colored mural spread across 200 homes in central Mexico city
- Turks, Kurdish rebels deepen hostility
- Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years
- Debris on French island possibly that of missing Malaysia Airlines flight
- Exiled Yemen leader orders anti-rebel fighters to merge with army to battle Houthis
- Taliban fracture outcome unclear
- French riot police push back migrants at Channel Tunnel
- Human rights issues cloud Strategic Dialogue meeting between U.S., Egypt