Rafael Correa Wins the Presidential Election in Ecuador
Ecuador’s socialist leader Rafael Correa was re-elected for the second consecutive Presidential Term. Correa is said to have achieved an ‘overwhelming victory’ with exit polls registering 50% support for him yesterday. Correa become that country's first President to win re-election in 37 years, beating his closest rival Lucio Gutierrez by more than 20 percentage points. Correa’s party will now hold an absolute majority in Ecuador's Congress. Correa is a socialist, leaning toward centralized style of leadership.
Ecuador was on course to re-elect President Rafael Correa after yesterday's voting in an emphatic endorsement of his leftwing rule, which would make him the first incumbent in a century to win two consecutive terms.
Exit polls gave the combative and charismatic leader more than 50% support, far ahead of his presidential rivals and possibly enough to give him a majority in the national assembly.
Correa, 46, has shaken up one of South America's poorest countries by doubling state spending on health care, education, pensions and infrastructure, clashing with the United States and foreign lenders and erecting trade barriers.
The middle-class economist, educated in Belgium and the US, says he is a socialist leading a "citizens' revolution". He is a member of the region's "pink tide" of leftist leaders and an ally of Venezuela's president Hugo Chávez.
Official results were not available Sunday night, but the president's Web page said Correa had won 54.92 percent of the vote.
"We have formal democracy, our great challenge now is to build true democracy, which means a more fair and more equal homeland," Correa said after voting.
The socialist Correa won about 50 percent of the vote with a 20-point lead over his nearest rival, former president Lucio Gutierrez, according to preliminary official results.
Correa's party is close to securing an absolute majority in the 124-member assembly, exit polls showed.