Quito, April 5: Ecuadorean leftist Lenin Moreno won the presidential election on Sunday after a tight contest with his right-wing opponent. The electoral authority confirmed on Tuesday about bucking a trend in Latin America to extend a decade of leftist rule in the major oil exporter.
National Electoral Council chief Pablo Pozo said that "irreversible official results" showed Moreno, 64, won with 51.16 percent of the votes. "Ecuador has chosen freely," he added. After the results of the presidential election, Pozo said, "We congratulate the Ecuadoran people, who have legally and legitimately elected their president." "Ecuador has spoken freely at the ballot box and it is our ethical duty to respect its vote and its voice," he added.
Lenin Moreno beat his conservative rival Guillermo Lasso, 61, who has alleged voting fraud and refused to accept the result. Lasso had 48.84 percent of the votes. Still, Lasso has said he will challenge the results.
However, the Organization of the American States, which had an observer mission in Ecuador, said yesterday it had seen "no discrepancies" between results collected by its observers at polling stations and official results.
Moreno, a wheelchair user and champion of disability rights, is seen as a more moderate successor to outgoing leftist President Rafael Correa. The race between Moreno and conservative ex-banker Lasso was closely watched as a barometer of the political climate in Latin America, where more than a decade of leftist dominance has been waning.