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Run-off presidential elections scheduled in Ecuador


Run-off presidential elections scheduled in Ecuador

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Ecuadorians head to the polls today for a second round of presidential elections.

Left-leaning candidate Andre Arauz is set to win the election. He currently leads with 37.87% of voter support, ahead of centre-right candidate Guillermo Lasso’s 30.19%. Arauz, who maintains a close relationship with outgoing President Rafael Correa and follows his “Correismo” school of political thought, will need to unify competing political parties. If elected, Ecuador will join Mexico, Argentina and Bolivia as the fourth Latin American country to have elected a left-wing government in recent years.

Arauz will seek to increase Ecuadorian independence from international bodies by altering anti-narcotics agreements with the US and re-negotiating its $6.5 billion debt with the International Monetary Fund. Altering US-Ecuadorian arrangements will reduce the US’s ability to conduct anti-drug trafficking and counter-illegal fishing activity operations and limit access to the strategic airport on the Galapagos Islands. This will hinder the ability of top cocaine-producing countries like Columbia and Peru to control their domestic narcotics cartels with US assistance. Through re-negotiation of the IMF debt, Ecuador will likely curtail public spending and attempt to stimulate domestic economic activity, while cracking down on domestic tax havens.

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