Ecuador surprisingly turns right

Photo: EPA Guillermo Lasso

Guillermo Lasso, a conservative former banker, has surprisingly won Ecuador's presidential election run-off, news wires reported. His opponent, the left-wing economist Andrés Arauz, conceded defeat hours after polls closed on Sunday. With almost all the ballots counted, Lasso had got 52.5% of the vote compared to Arauz's 47.5%.

Lasso said he accepted the "challenge of changing our country's destiny". "It's a day in which all Ecuadoreans have decided their future," he pointed out. "They have used their vote to express the need for change and the desire for better days." Lasso will assume office on 24 May.

The former banker, who has twice finished second in presidential votes, represents the country's business sector. He has vowed to break away from the leftist policies of past administrations that he says have dragged Ecuador down. He has pledged to attract increased foreign investment, create two million new jobs and increase oil production.

On the economy, he has proposed an increase in the minimum monthly wage as well as tax cuts for small businesses and the creation of a fund to stimulate entrepreneurship. However, Lasso has been accused by critics of offering a continuation of the unpopular Lenin Moreno government which has been badly battered by intertwined health and economic crises.

In addition to the economic turmoil, corruption accusations inside the health ministry led to an almost two-month delay in designing a national Covid-19 vaccination plan. Lasso has vowed to vaccinate nine million Ecuadoreans in the first 100 days of his administration, and promised to lead "better" direct negotiations with the pharmaceutical companies producing the jabs.

Similar articles

  • Liberal Party of PM Trudeau wins Canada’s election but miss majority

    Liberal Party of PM Trudeau wins Canada’s election but miss majority

    Canadians gave PM Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party a victory in Monday's parliamentary elections, but his gamble to win a majority of seats appeared to have failed, AP reported. The Liberals were leading in 148 ridings, the Conservatives in 103, the Quebec-based Bloc Quebecois in 28 and the leftist New Democratic Party in 22. The House of Commons holds 338 seats and a party needs to win 170 to hold a majority.

  • US to lift entry ban for vaccinated foreigners from November

    US to lift entry ban for vaccinated foreigners from November

    The United States will lift travel restrictions on people from abroad who can prove they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus starting in early November, the White House said on Monday. The United States currently bars entry for most non-citizens from 33 countries, including European Union members, Britain, India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Iran, dpa recalls.

  • Mexico calls for EU style Latin Union

    Mexico calls for EU style Latin Union

    The Latin American and Caribbean countries should join a bloc like the European Union, Mexico's president and other leaders noted at a summit over the weekend, in a bid to reduce the influence of Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS). This is not the first attempt the region's mainly leftist rulers to promote the idea of such organization, Reuters reported.