Socialist forerunner to face conservative ex-banker in Ecuador runoff

Left-wing economist Andres Arauz will face former Conservative banker Guillermo Lasso in the second round of Ecuador’s presidential election on April 11, the country’s election commission said on Sunday.

Arauz, the 36-year-old protégé of former Socialist President Rafael Correa, won the first round with 32.72 percent of the vote.

Lasso received 19.74 percent and beat left-wing domestic leader Yaku Perez who received 19.39 percent, according to the final results of the February 7 poll announced by Election Committee Secretary Santiago Vallejo.

The results were approved by four of the five members of the electoral body at a meeting that lasted until the morning of Sunday morning.

Perez, a 51-year-old environmental lawyer, had formally filed a reclamation request in 17 of the country’s 24 provinces, which was suspended on Wednesday.

He has claimed that there were frauds to keep him away from the runoff after he was crowded by Lasso from second to third place in the middle of the bill.

“Today, democracy has won, we go with courage and optimism to this second round,” Lasso said in a statement after the announcement.

Incumbent Lenin Moreno’s term ends on May 24.