QUITO, ECUADOR – Ecuadorians elected a new President Sunday, voting to keep the current left-wing party of President Rafael Correa in power.
Correa’s former Vice-President Lenin Moreno won the election with 51% of the vote over his opponent, Guillermo Lasso of the right-wing CREO Party, who finished with 49%.
Hundreds of supporters gathered at the Allianza Pais headquarters Sunday night to celebrate the win, which some have called a win for the working class people.
President Rafael Correa has led two terms in office and continues to be popular mainly among low-income and working class Ecuadorians.
They have been the main beneficiaries of his more progressive policies, which have decreased inequality and cut poverty rates nearly in half, dropping from 42.2% in 2005 down to 22.5% in 2014, according to the World Bank.
Many of those who voted for Moreno voted to maintain these policies and what Allianza Pais has called the “Citizens Revolution”.
But former President Rafael Correa has gained an increasing number of critics, mainly due to increasing public debt and growing unemployment, which is also related to the drop in oil prices.
His government has also been highly criticized for silencing dissenting voices and accused of corruption, mainly through the state-run oil company, PetroEcuador, and accepting bribes from the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht.