The specter of violence forces a prudent conclusion to the campaign in Ecuador

There are eight candidates in the presidential elections in Ecuador, which take place on Sunday, August 20th. The elections are intended to determine who will end the term of President Guillermo Lasso, who called for a “cross death” with his country’s Congress amid a vote of no confidence in him in the legislature. That is why a new national assembly will be elected this Sunday.

This Wednesday, the National Electoral Council confirmed that the journalist Christian Zurita Yes, he will be able to represent the candidacy of the Construye movement, which was in the hands of the murdered Fernando Villavicencio, despite Correísmo’s objection. “Correísmo tries again to silence us and confirms his fear of our candidacy,” the Construye movement said on the social network X. However, Villavicencio’s face will appear on the ballot papers since they are already printed, CNE reported.

The sector run by the former president Rafael Correa from exile has set his hopes Luisa Gonzalez. The Citizens’ Revolution candidate comes first in all recent polls, averaging 25%; with the former Vice President Otto Sonnenholzer either Jan topic – viewed as an underdog by local analysts – is in second place, according to pollsters. Villavicencio was fifth, except in the study by Cedatos, which was second with 12.5%. Overall, the undecided showed a robust number.

There is no survey that has measured the impact of the journalist’s murder, nor is there time to determine the real possibilities Christian Zurita in a Competition. What is clear is that correísmo was shocked by the murder as Villavicencio had publicized corruption cases during his tenure Rafael Correa (2007-2017). The former president called the allegations of involvement a “miserable campaign,” and González admitted to seeing a two-percentage-point drop in voting intent in internal polls. “We wanted to win in a single round, but the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio concerned the electoral commission,” Correa admitted.

The speech of some flag bearers, who now promise to end the violence with state power, was also affected. There Sonnenholzner and Jan topic, a successful businessman, former paratrooper and former sniper for the French Army’s Foreign Legion, nicknamed “Rambo”. His most recent political reference is Nayib BukelePresident of El Salvador whom he hopes to emulate by building prisons for gang members.

He reiterated this last Sunday during the latest candidate debate, which is believed to have emerged as one of the winners by showing himself to be a “strong” candidate in a country where the current candidate is represented Christian Zurita He was shown in public wearing a bulletproof vest.

In a brief campaign, insecurity and violence have become the focus of public debate following the spate of attacks over the past few weeks. At the beginning of the electoral cycle, there was talk of employment, purchasing power, the health system and corruption, but now only crime, violence and drug trafficking seem to be the order of the day. On Wednesday, Topic presented the equipment it intends to provide to police to combat insecurity.

In the last few days, the candidates have made tours, caravans or interviews in the media in different provinces of the country. In all cases there were increased security measures and the activities were chosen without too many crowds.

This Thursday Yaku Perez performed a final act in Quito, where Christian Zurita He had his own, but most applicants organized their own in Guayaquil: Noboa gave a speech like Jan Topic to their respective supporters; and Sonnenholzner called for a concert for peace. Xabier HervasFor his part, he announced that he had canceled a major event because “there are no guarantees of doing politics” and opted for activities focused on different communities.

This Thursday in the prisons began the first vote on the right to vote for prisoners without final punishment. These more than 4,000 eligible voters will join them more than 13 million voters from across the country that on Sunday they will have the opportunity to elect a new president who will complete the government term until 2025 and to choose who will fill the seats in parliament.

Ecuadorians must also participate in a national consultation to keep oil on the ground in Block 43-ITT in Amazon Yasuní National Park, and Quito residents will be able to vote on mining activities in the Chocó Andino, a reserve of the biosphere.

According to the interior minister, the elections will be guarded by more than 100,000 security officers. Juan Zapata. Also activated a “Dry Law” prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages on weekends.

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