Home World The key to the most crucial and atypical elections in Ecuador

The key to the most crucial and atypical elections in Ecuador

The key to the most crucial and atypical elections in Ecuador

Amid the excitement surrounding the shooting of a candidate and Violence related to drug traffickingEcuador will vote on some this Sunday early electionss to elect a new president and put an end to an institutional crisis.

Right-wing President Guillermo Lasso cornered by a impeachment proceedings, dissolved the opposition congress in May and brought forward parliamentary elections. But eleven days after the vote, the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio as he was leaving a campaign rally cast a shadow over the election.

These are completely atypical electionsin a basically terrible situation that Ecuador is going through due to the installed violence, but which is manifested in an even more acute and cruel way in the assassination of the politician and political scientist Anamaría Correa Crespo, coordinator of international relations for Ecuador, told AFP. University of San Francisco de Quito.

Crime changed the voting spectrum. Luisa Gonzalez, Dolphin of former Socialist President Rafael Correa (2007-2017), favorite march in the polls but without enough percentage intending to vote to avoid the runoff. To achieve victory in the first round, 40% of the votes must be reached valid with a lead of 10 points over the second.

Behind González is the journalist Christian Zurita, Villavicencio’s friend and backup; the ex-sniper and ex-paratrooper Jan topicthe indigenous leader Yaku Perez and the former Vice President Otto Sonnenholzer.

The 137 members of the National Assembly will also be elected to complete the current four-year term until May 2025.

About 13.4 of the 18.3 million Ecuadorians will have to give up their compulsory voting between 07:00 and 17:00 local time (12:00 and 22:00 GMT).

“Emotional Attunement”

The face of the late Villavicencio will appear on the ballots along with seven other candidatesbecause they were already in print when he was shot by a Colombian hitman.

Shortly before his assassination, the journalist and former lawmaker had accused the jailed leader of the criminal gang The Choneros, an ally of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel, to threaten him with death. He had also indicted parliamentarians, some of them Correístas, before the prosecutor for allegedly being involved in a plan to end his life.

After the assassination, Luisa González’s popularity was damaged. his mentor Correa and Villavicencio were bitter rivals, because one of the journalistic investigations against Villavicencio and Zurita led to an eight-year prison sentence for corruption against the former president in absentia.

“We wanted to win in a single round” But Villavicencio’s killing “moved the electoral board,” admitted Correa, who has lived in Belgium since leaving power. From exile he claimed it was a “political conspiracy” Accusing Correísmo of crime and favoring the right “to reach a second round so that everyone unites and defeats us.”

Political scientist Correa Crespo, however, dismisses that “the impact is so strong that it changes the fact that it is going to the second round”, which is scheduled for October 15.

Luisa González leads two recent polls (at 24% and 24.9%). One of them, from the Cedatos company, placed Villavicencio in second place (12.5%) and right winger Jan Topic in third place (12.2%). For analyst Blasco Peñaherrera Solah: Correísmo could face a “penalty” in the elections. “We’re going to have an emotional vote,” as happened in Colombia in 1990 when the liberal César Gaviria was elected after taking over the post from Luis Carlos Galán, a former journalist who struggled with drug trafficking and was assassinated by hit men .

Subject, admirer of Bukele

Themea former member of the French Foreign Legion, swears a strong hand against gangs, emulating the work of the Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele.

Correa Crespo notes that his popularity is “increasing”. He is now among the top in some polls. In the basement are right-wing Daniel Noboa and centre-right politicians Xavier Hervas and Bolívar Armijos.

A mayor, a deputy candidate and a local Correísmo leader were also assassinated in the midst of the election campaign. “We are experiencing very difficult times for our democracy,” said the political scientist, for whom “the penetration of drug trafficking in Ecuador (…) has been going on for several years. It may have been a silent phenomenon, but it demonstrates its power.”

Ecuador faces an onslaught of drug trafficking and organized crime. Gangs linked to Mexican and Colombian cartels in a war for control are fueling prison massacres with more than 430 deaths since 2021 and a record homicide rate of 26 per 100,000 people in 2022, almost doubling the previous year.

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