Weekly Report - 11 February 2021 (WR-21-06)

Ecuador’s elections produce expected result in unexpected manner

Ecuador’s presidential contest will go to a second round. This is no surprise. Polls suggested that no single candidate would fulfil the criteria for winning in the first round: more than 50% of the vote or 40% plus a 10-percentage- point lead over the second-placed candidate. But the polls erred in painting the contest as a two-horse race between Andrés Arauz, the left-wing economist endorsed by former president Rafael Correa (2007-2017), and Guillermo Lasso, a former banker standing for a right-of-centre coalition. In the event, Arauz came first, but two further candidates were in the thick of it, one of whom, Yaku Pérez, the candidate of Pachakutik, the political arm of the umbrella indigenous organisation Conaie, looked set to secure second place after sweeping the majority of the Andean highland and Amazonian provinces. Pérez will be pipped to the post by Lasso, but the late swing in the count is fuelling tensions and will prompt protests.

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