Lenín Moreno (love that first name!) was the candidate of President Rafael Correa’s socialist PAIS Alliance, has apparently won the Presidential run-off election 51 to 49 percent. His opponent was Guillermo Lasso, of a broad coalition party, Creating Opportunities, ranging from the center-right to the center-left.
Soon after being elected President in 2006, Correa, a self-styled “socialist of the 21st century,” dissolved the Congress (controlled by opposition parties), and replaced it with a National Assembly. Correa’s party won the largest bloc of seats in the new body, and it subsequently gained a majority.
Correa proceeded to nationalize the oil industry of the country, and has since expanded the role of government across the boards. As measured by GDP per capita, purchasing power parity-basis, the economy continued to grow for a time but has recently fallen into a recession. Civil liberties, as measured by Freedom House, have deteriorated, and the country is now rated only as “partly free.”
The main opposition parties – Creating Opportunities (mentioned above) and the center-rgiht Social Christian Union – have rebounded both in terms of seats in the National Assembly and popularity in the first round of voting in the Presidential election, held on February 19th.
Pre-run-off opinion polls ranged from slightly to overwhelmingly favoring Lenín Moreno (remember, he’s the socialist). Judging by the first round of voting, tomorrow’s election should have been, as it turned out to be, very close. While the socialist, Comrade Lenin finished first in the first round of voting, the combined vote of Creating Opportunities and Social Christian Union was larger by several points, and the votes of yet smaller parties were split nearly evenly between left and right.
The opposition candidate is calling for a recount. Even so, there is as of yet no word on the extent to which Russia may have interfered with this election. Also as of this time, I don’t have any images of supporters of the opposition crying. The following are the best I could come up with.