Amid a campaign marked by violence and the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio, a runoff between correismo and a centrist candidate such as Daniel Noboa prevents the most uncertain and disruptive scenario—a runoff between two market-unfriendly candidates. Noboa’s presence in the second round could push Luisa González and the correista party to move closer to the center in the runoff campaign to capture moderate voters, moderating the political rhetoric. Additionally, the potential of having a leftist president amid a highly fractured legislature will limit the chances of radical reforms being passed and implemented. The runoff is scheduled for October 15, as announced by the National Electoral Council (CNE), and the elected president will govern for a year and six months until May 2025.
Preliminary results of the August 20 presidential elections confirm there will be a second round between the correista candidate, Gonzalez, and the center-right candidate, Noboa. Noboa’s presence in the runoff was a surprise, as polls did not position him among the main candidates. He served as a representative in the National Assembly, where he acted as the president of the Economic Development Committee. In the first round, he won in five provinces and secured 24% of the votes. González’s victory would also signify the return of correísmo to the presidency, the left-wing political movement that governed for over a decade until 2017. Gonzalez enjoys a loyal and consolidated electorate, having garnered 33% of the votes. Additionally, she positioned herself as the top choice in 13 provinces. The elected president will govern alongside an assembly in which the correísmo movement (Revolución Ciudadana) will have the largest representation, just as it did in 2021, with a marginal increase in the number of seats in these elections. However, with approximately 38% of the seats, they do not hold a majority. The movement that supported Villavicencio’s candidacy has solidified itself as the second-largest force in the assembly, with a total of 28 seats. This significant presence provides a strong counterbalance to correísmo. Construye—Villavicencio’s party—had only secured one seat in the previous 2021 elections.
The runoff will likely be closely contested, with both candidates facing challenges. On one hand, González benefits from correísmo’s clear identification as the opposition to President Guillermo Lasso, who has a very low approval rating. Furthermore, her rhetoric, which calls for “reclaiming the homeland,” alludes to Rafael Correa’s presidency, which still represents a core of loyal voters within the movement. However, her challenge lies in the difficulty of significantly increasing the votes she obtained in the first round. On the other hand, Noboa must bridge the gap that separates him from González. The businessman has the advantage of potentially attracting votes from Zurita-Villavicencio and Jan Topic, appealing to anti-correísta voters. Ultimately, neither of the two candidates will have sufficient strength in the assembly and will need coalitions to pass their projects.
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