TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Leftist president breezes to re-election in Ecuador

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By The Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, 9:30 p.m.

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

Most-Read World

  1. Mexico clears way for foreign investors in shale oil drilling
  2. Russia’s push into Ukraine leads NATO to increase its Baltics presence
  3. South Korean ferry captain arrested; crew’s actions faulted in sinking
  4. Third mate unfamiliar with waters where South Korean ferry sank
  5. Holocaust survivors taxed, student finds in search of Amsterdam city archives
  6. Fiat and Chrysler to build Jeep models in China
  7. Pontiff seeks to bring faith to ‘ends of Earth’
  8. U.S. drone strike in Yemen kills suspected al-Qaida militants
  9. French journalists freed from captivity in Syria
  10. 58 killed in attack on U.N. peacekeeping base in South Sudan
  11. 7.2 earthquake strikes central Mexico
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.