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Election of the Day: Ecuador

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With the semester starting tomorrow, combined with an ill-timed bout of COVID-19 (symptoms mild and brief, thankfully, but it wrecked havoc on travel plans), I have not had time to prepare a post about today’s Presidential election in Ecuador. Indeed, I forgot it was today until about half an hour ago. Perhaps our local correspondent will chime in, but if you would like to discuss it here’s a thread. Here’s a useful primer on the circumstances and details of this election:

Mr. Lasso disbanded the country’s opposition-led legislature in May, using, for the first time, a constitutional measure that allows the president to rule by decree until new presidential and congressional elections can be held. The impeachment proceedings were permanently halted once Mr. Lasso dissolved congress.

The move came amid a moment of extraordinary political turbulence for Ecuador, a country of 18 million on South America’s western edge. But it provided temporary stability by allowing the president to bypass the deadlocked legislature and appease voters hungry for new leadership and action against the rise in street crime and drug and gang violence.

The candidate leading in the polls is Luisa González, backed by the powerful party of the former president, Mr. Correa, who governed from 2007 to 2017. During his presidency, a commodities boom helped lift millions out of poverty, but Mr. Correa’s authoritarian style and accusations of corruption deeply divided the country.

“We’re seeing a lot of voter nostalgia for the security situation and the economic situation while he was in power, which seems to be propelling her candidacy,” said Risa Grais-Targow, the Latin America director for Eurasia Group. “The rest of the field is in a really tight battle for second place.”

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