Lenin Moreno the leftist vice president has won the first round of the presidential elections in Ecuador, this is based on the preliminary results that have been released by the country’s electoral authority. He won 38.26 percent of the votes as the conservative Guillermo Lasso followed him with 29.86 per cent, while the only woman candidate Cynthia Viteri garnered 15.4 percent.
The candidates are required to have 40 percent and a 10 percentage-point lead for them to claim victory in the very first round. Consequently, the results call for a run-off which is set to take place on the 2nd of April.
If Moreno gains power, he’ll be expected to further his left-wing agenda, he was handpicked as the successor of incumbent President Rafael Correa. On the other side, Lasso from the conservative Creo-Suma alliance has been fighting hard. Lasso has also vowed to kick Julian Assange out of Ecuador’s London Embassy where he has been staying for almost five years. Moreno made a statement after the results in which he pointed out that the Ecuadorian people had voted to continue the citizen’s revolution.
Ecuador has 12.8 million voters who are eligible to vote, voting in the country is mandatory. The opening round of Ecuador’s presidential election saw Moreno heading to victory and hence the immediate future of Australian citizen Julian Assange appeared seemed to be safe in Ecuador.
The figures published by the National Electoral Council revealed that Of the 82 percent ballots that were counted, 39 percent of them belonged to Moreno while Guillermo Lasso had 29 percent.
In order to avoid a runoff, Moreno had to win a majority of the total vote or garner 40 percent while holding a 10-point lead over his close lead. The tight race saw the electoral authorities desist from announcing a quick count of results and instead they appealed for patience as officials came in.
Moreno was quick to declare himself the winner based on inconclusive exit polls as he also called Lasso to recognize defeat. However, he changed his stance while he was addressing supporters late in the night.
On the other hand, the opposition candidate showed no signs of giving up as hundreds of his supporters gathered outside the National Electoral Council, where they said they’d remain there until a runoff was confirmed.
The results came in as one of the leading candidates had previously threatened to revoke Assange’s asylum. The Conservative candidate Guillermo said that he will cordially ask Assange to leave within a 30-day’s ultimatum, adding that the Ecuadorian people have been facilitating unnecessary cost that they ought not to bear.
Assange was granted the asylum by President Rafael Correa who will be standing down after 10 years as the president, however, two of the eight candidates have threatened to evict Assange. Mr. Lasso has a serious chance of securing victory and he was previously expected to lead Moreno who is currently leading the polls.
Many speculate that the results are unlikely to deliver a clear conclusion and a run-off poll on the April 2 will be the great determinant of Assange’s fate. Cynthia Viteria also said that she would opt to spend the money used on Mr. Assange in providing school lunches, adding that she’d withdraw his asylum.
It’s a huge concern for many Assange supporters as a twitter campaign with hashtag #ElMundoConAssange being run out of Ecuador in support of Mr. Assange urging the candidates not to revoke his asylum. However, it’s not certain as to how the situation will turn out only the run off on the 2nd of April will determine his fate.