Voters in Ecuador went to the polls in an unprecedented snap election on 20 August. Almost 11 million voters participated in the first round of Ecuador’s presidential and legislative elections. To win in the first round, a presidential candidate needed 50% of the valid votes, or 40% with a 10-point lead over the second-place. As neither candidate won more than 50% of the ballot, Luisa González, from Citizen Revolution Movement (33.63%), will face Daniel Noboa from National Democratic Action Alliance (23.43%) in a run-off election on 15 October.
Elections in Ecuador
Voters in Ecuador went to the polls in an unprecedented snap election on 20 August. Almost 11 million voters participated in the first round of Ecuador’s presidential and legislative elections. To win in the first round, a presidential candidate needs 50% of the valid votes, or 40% with a 10-point lead over the second-place. As neither candidate won more than 50% of the ballot, Luisa González, from Citizen Revolution Movement (33%), will face Daniel Noboa from National Democratic Action Alliance (22%) in a run-off election on 15 October.
Citing political crisis and inability to govern, on 18 May incumbent President Guillermo Lasso dissolved Ecuador’s National Assembly, cutting his term short to avoid impeachment proceedings against him. Lasso invoked a constitutional mechanism introduced in 2008, the so-called “two-way death” (muerte cruzada), which allows the president to call for early elections under specific circumstances, such as the legislature’s actions blocking the functioning of government.
Since he called early elections Lasso – a businessman and former banker – has governed by decree, via Constitutional Court approval. In May, he announced he would not run in this presidential election. Lasso’s political movement, Creando Oportunidades (Creating Opportunities, CREO), did not field candidates for the legislative elections either, nor backed other parties.
Ecuador’s Electoral Tribunal recently ruled that the upcoming election’s presidential tickets must include both a man and a woman. In the case of former President Rafael Correa’s Movimiento Revolución Ciudadana (Citizen Revolution Movement, RC), Luisa González was registered as presidential candidate. She has made a campaign promise to call a Constituent Assembly to rewrite Ecuador’s Constitution. According to the National Electoral Council, González won 33.63% of the vote in the first round.
Pro-business candidate Daniel Noboa -and entrepreneur Verónica Abad- came at a surprise second-place with 23.43% of the vote after a solid presidential debate performance. Noboa, aged 35 and son of former five-time presidential candidate Alvaro Noboa and physician Annabella Azin, ran for the political movement National Democratic Action (ADN) and backed by the movements: People, Equality and Democracy (PID) and MOVER.
Fernando Villavicencio, candidate for Movimiento Construye and a former investigative journalist, was assassinated following a campaign event on 9 August. His replacement, Christian Zurita, came third with 16.5% of the vote.
The conservative Partido Social Cristiano (Social Christian Party, PSC), which joined in impeachment proceedings against President Lasso, backed Jan Topić and Diana Jácome. Topic came in fourth place with 14.66% of the vote.
Former vice-president of Ecuador under Lenín Moreno, Otto Sonnenholzner ran for the Actuemos (‘Let’s Act’) alliance, with Erika Paredes as his running mate. Actuemos is an alliance of the Avanza and SUMA parties, supported by Izquierda Democrática (Democratic Left). Eduardo Maruri, a businessman who was also running for the presidency, withdrew his candidacy to support Sonnenholzner in June. Actuemos registered 7.06% of the vote
In his second run for the presidency, Indigenous leader Yaku Pérez represented a political coalition that registered 3.94% of the vote. In 2021, Pérez ran for the Indigenist Pachakutik party on a platform against mining and oil activities in Ecuador.
The runoff between Luisa González and Daniel Noboa will take place on 15 October. Elected officials will only hold office until May 2025, when general elections remain scheduled to take place. Join Canning House for this webinar, in which we will discuss this election’s outcomes and significance for the future of Ecuador.
Please note: This event covers a developing situation. This description will be updated with the latest information in due course. Updated 23/08/2023.
*Canning House joins its colleagues across the UK and Latin America in wholeheartedly and entirely condemning the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio. May he rest in peace.
Moderator: Ana María Roura
BBC World Service, multilingual journalist
Ana Maria Roura, multilingual journalist based in London working with BBC World Service. Ana Maria has lived and worked as a journalist in six different countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. She is a versatile journalist with strong experience in political journalism with special focus in Latin America and creating content in different formats and platforms such TV, radio, Online, social media, podcasts. A news reporter trained to deliver reports and analysis from the studio and the field and with technical skills for Live TV broadcast and digital video. Previous experience includes working as news anchor and special correspondent for DW Deutsche Welle, the German public international broadcaster.
Chair, Canning House
Nick McCall has had a long history with Latin America having been raised in Argentina and Brazil followed by a BA in Hispanic Studies at Bristol University. Nick spent his early career in a number of Latin American countries working for Bank of London & South America (BOLSA) and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. In the UK, Nick chairs the Financial Executives Networking Group (FENG) UK Chapter, an organisation dedicated to establishing links between senior financial executives across the globe and was most recently Head of a Wealth Management Firm in the City which was an independent wealth management platform catering to emerging market clients.
President of Spurrier Group & Director of Political Economic report “Weekly Analysis”
Economic Analyst, with a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He is the Director of Political Economic report “Weekly Analysis” and also is president of Spurrier Group. Columnist of El Comercio and El Universo newspapers. In addition, he offers advice, talks, consultancies and studies in economic and political issues of the Ecuadorian reality. Currently he is the Advisor of Chamber of Industry and Regent of Casa Grande University.
Dean Social Sciences & Humanities, Professor of Political Science, Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Paolo Moncagatta holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Barcelona. He is currently Associate Professor of Political Science at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, where he also serves as Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities. His main fields of expertise are political culture and electoral behavior. He has collaborated as a consultant with USAID, NORC at the University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, and the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP).
IPSOS Market Research, Country Manager, Ecuador
Cristina is a professional with over 20 years of advisory experience. She has lived and worked in both the United States and Latin America. An entrepreneur at heart, with a Masters in Business Administration, Cristina has played a pivotal role in the Market Research industry analyzing the behavior of people, markets and society.
José Antonio Hidalgo
Vice President of Cordex (Corporation of Ecuadorian Exporters Associations)
Jose Antonio Hidalgo is a prominent figure in the Ecuadorian export industry, holding the position of Vice President of Cordex (Corporation of Ecuadorian Exporters Associations). He is also the Executive Director of the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE) and the Coordinator of the Ecuadorian Banana Cluster. In addition to his current roles, Hidalgo has previously served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Ecuadorian Chinese Chamber of Commerce. He is an accomplished academic, having graduated from Peking University and taught at the Catholic University Santiago de Guayaquil. With his extensive experience and expertise, Hidalgo continues to make significant contributions to the Ecuadorian export industry.
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