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Leftist Candidate Moreno Triumphs in Ecuador Presidential Election

© REUTERS / Mariana BazoEcuadorean presidential candidate Lenin Moreno (C) gives a speech alongside Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa (L) during a national election day at a hotel in Quito, Ecuador April 2, 2017
Ecuadorean presidential candidate Lenin Moreno (C) gives a speech alongside Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa (L) during a national election day at a hotel in Quito, Ecuador April 2, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Ruling leftist PAIS Alliance party candidate Lenin Moreno won over Guillermo Lasso, a candidate from Ecuador's opposition Creo-Suma alliance, by 2 percent in the presidential election in Ecuador.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — South America's growing right-wing political force experienced a defeat in Ecuador, where ruling PAIS Alliance party candidate Lenin Moreno, is set to win the presidential election.

With the country's current President Rafael Correa not running in the election for the first time in more than a decade, two candidates, Moreno, a former vice president, and Guillermo Lasso, a candidate from Ecuador's opposition Creo-Suma alliance, participated in Sunday's run-off.

The vote difference between PAIS Alliance's Moreno and his opponent is small — just over 2 percent. According to the National Electoral Council (NEC), after processing around 98 percent of the votes, Moreno leads with over 51 percent compared to Lasso, who has just under 49 percent.

MAINTAINING ECUADOR'S LEFTIST COURSE

The current head of state called the results irreversible, writing on Twitter "great news for the great homeland: the revolution regained its victory in Ecuador, the right is defeated, despite their millions and the media, more than two percent of the difference, Lenin is president!!!"

​For Correa, Moreno's victory would mean that the country preserves the same socio-economic course that it has built since 2007, when Correa first came to power and launched the left-wing Citizens' Revolution. Moreno served as Correa's vice president from 2007 to 2013.

Alianza PAIS's presidential candidate Lenin Moreno, left, and his running mate Jorge Glas smile end of the day of the presidential election, in Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Ecuador went to the polls in a second round presidential elections. - Sputnik International
Moreno Winning Ecuador’s Presidential Election With 51% of Votes
In 2012, Moreno was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 2013 became Ecuador's special envoy to the UN Secretary General on Disability and Access. The 64-year-old politician has been in a wheelchair since 1998, when he was injured during an attempted robbery. Moreno thereafter significantly increased the budget for disabled people, and founded the Manuela Espejo Solidarity Mission for the Disabled, which offers rehab, and technical and psychological support for the disabled.

During his campaign, Moreno promised to create 250,000 new jobs in his time in office, and to maintain the current social policy aimed at supporting the poor.

In the event of a final victory, he will enter office on May 24 and will serve for a period of four years.

OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS CLASH WITH POLICE

Lasso has challenged the results in all 24 provinces, and demanded a vote recount, citing voting manipulations. The temporary fault of the website of the National Electoral Council has also raised concern.

A woman deposits her ballot during the presidential runoff election Quito, Ecuador, Sunday, April 2, 2017 - Sputnik International
Ecuador Presidential Elections 'Triumph of Democracy' - Foreign Minister
The victory was marked by confrontations between police and demonstrators, dissatisfied with the results of the vote. According to the Correa, outbreaks of violence took place in Esmeraldas, Ibarra and Azogues.

Local media reported that clashes between supporters of the Ecuador’s opposition and police also erupted near the National Electoral Council’s building in Quito.

ASSANGE'S REACTION

Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website, who has been residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, also welcomed Moreno's victory.

In February, Lasso, a prominent businessman, said in an interview with The Guardian newspaper that in case of his victory in the presidential election he would "cordially ask" Assange to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London within 30 days.

A video link up with Julian Assange, journalist, founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, at the session, End of the Monopoly: The Open Information Age, held as part of the New Era of Journalism: Farewell to Mainstream international media forum at the Rossiya Segodnya International Multimedia Press Center - Sputnik International
WikiLeaks’ Assange 'Cordially Invites' Ecuador’s Lasso to Leave Country
As the electoral outcome became seemingly clear, Assange wrote on Twitter "I cordially invite Lasso to leave Ecuador within 30 days (with or without his tax haven millions)."

​Assange was referring to the allegations by the Inspectorate of Banks of Panama against Lasso regarding his association with forty-nine offshore companies located in tax havens, as revealed by the Argentine newspaper Pagina 12 earlier this month.

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