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Ecuador’s electoral authority on Tuesday has confirmed leftist Lenín Boltaire Moreno is the country’s new president. The announcement, alongside congratulations from several world leaders, comes as rival Guillermo Lasso continues to challenge the results and is demanding a recount.
Two days after the election, with 99.65 per cent of the votes processed, Mr Moreno edged ahead with 51.16 per cent of the vote, while Mr Lasso secured 48.84 per cent — a difference of 229,396. These results are “official” and “irreversible”, said the president of the national electoral council, Juan Pablo Pozo.
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, who is legally barred from another term but whose presence loomed large over the campaign, is scheduled to hand over the presidency to his protégé next month. The electoral race has split Ecuadoreans with some favouring the continuity of Mr Correa’s model of governance and those vying for change.
Mr Moreno, who uses a wheelchair after a botched robbery, is seen as more emollient than the mercurial Mr Correa and has vowed to work for all Ecuadoreans. On Tuesday, he asked Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London, to “refrain from meddling in Ecuadorean politics.”
After Mr Moreno claimed victory on Sunday, Mr Assange tweeted: “I cordially invite Lasso to leave Ecuador within 30 days”. The tweet was in response to a comment from Mr Lasso who had previously said he would “cordially” give Mr Assange a month to leave the embassy, if elected. Later, Mr Assange said this was a “misunderstanding” and a “joke”.