Guillermo Lasso, presidente electo del Ecuador; Andrés Arauz acepta su derrota y felicita a su contrincante | Política | Noticias | El Universo Guillermos Lasso (c) won the Ecuadorian presidential election.
Surprisingly, Guillermo Lasso, former banker and Coca Cola Ecuadorian director, won the run-off election over socialistic candidate Andres Arauz, 52.5% to 47.5%. Guillermo Lasso Is Ecuador’s President-Elect | News | teleSUR English, and Guillermo Lasso, presidente electo del Ecuador; Andrés Arauz acepta su derrota y felicita a su contrincante | Política | Noticias | El Universo
Arauz had led the pack of 16 presidential candidates during the first round, on February 7, with 32.7% of the vote over Lasso’s 19.74%. Arauz was Union of Hope (UNES) candidate, a new party that former President Rafael Correa (2007-17) and Arauz had started.
This was Lasso’s third time running on the Creating Opportunities (CREO) presidential ticket. He came in second place against Correa in 2013 and again against Lenin Moreno in 2017. During this election CREO combined with the traditional conservative Social Christian Party (PSC).
“This is a historic day, a day in which all Ecuadorians have decided their future and expressed with their vote the need for change…Democracy has triumphed,” Lasso told supporters as the results came in. “Ecuadoreans, all of you . . . have chosen a new path…a very different path from the one Ecuador has followed for the past 14 years.”
Lasso will take the presidential reins on May 24. The National Electoral Council presented the results last night after 98 percent of the votes had been officially counted. A few minutes earlier, the leftist politician publicly congratulated the president-elect. Arauz made no mention of any fraud in the voting process even though polls had indicated he would win the race with a small margin. teleSUR English på Twitter: “#Ecuador | Left-wing presidential candidate Andres Arauz: “To all of you who trusted us, I want to thank you with all my heart. We will never forget them. We will be working and defending our citizens.” https://t.co/ebgyxKhKXV” / Twitter
Lasso gained a majority, in part, because of promises he made to improve the failed economy under Moreno’s administration by increasing foreign investments, cutting taxes for businesses while raising the minimum wage, and a vow to vaccinate nine million citizens during his first 100 days in office.
Lasso used his Coca Cola advertising knowledge about the use of “image politics” to capture unsuspecting voters. The 65 year-old campaigned in trendy red trainers, pink three-quarter-length trousers and white jacket. He posts on social media, such as TikTok. His opponent, the 36 year-old Arauz, dressed more like a businessman or economist, which is his work.
Lasso’s image politics apparently appealed to many young voters and to many sexual minorities. Among his supporters are self-declared anarcho-ecologists, including an indigenous leader, Yaku Pérez, who is backed by the U.S. government financially and politically. When Pérez did not get into the run-off, coming in third place, he called upon his supporters to vote blank, which 1.6 million did. (For background, see, Ecuador Socialist Party Takes First Round in Elections – This Can’t Be Happening! )
Investigative reporter and a follower of Latin American politics Ben Norton tweeted: Ben Norton på Twitter: “I’m sure the anarcho-liberals who voted null in Ecuador’s election (including CONAIE) as a protest against the socialist Correísta movement are proud now that their new president is going to be a far-right multimillionaire corrupt neoliberal banker, Opus Dei member, and US puppet” / Twitter
For this writer, Lasso’s victory came as a surprise, a most disappointing one especially for the peoples of Latin America, and for all who struggle for a world without the greed, war violence, and planet pollution that capitalism breeds.