On August 20, over 13 million Ecuadorians took part in the early general elections to elect the country’s next president, vice president, and 137 members of the National Assembly amid a wave of violence and record rates of homicide.
After 60 percent of the votes had been counted, at around 9 p.m. on August 20, president of the National Electoral Council Diana Atamaint gave a public address and confirmed that Ecuadorians would return to the polls for a runoff election on October 15, since no candidate hit the threshold to win outright.
Luisa González of the left-wing Citizen Revolution Movement party won this first round of elections with 33 percent of the vote, while Daniel Noboa of the right-wing National Democratic Action alliance trailed behind her with 24 percent. Both candidates will now head to the second round in October.
The key concerns among voters as they headed to the polls on August 20 were sharp increases in crime, which the government of incumbent conservative President Guillermo Lasso blames on drug-trafficking gangs, and the struggling economy, which has caused a rise in unemployment and migration.
González, a protégé of former leftist President Rafael Correa, has promised to address the security crisis by strengthening the institutions and entities in charge of managing security, which she alleges Lasso and ex-President Lenín Moreno dismantled. She also promised to address the root causes of violence, such as poverty and inequality. She has vowed to increase public spending and revive Correa’s large-scale social welfare programs and public infrastructure projects.