HEADLINES

What to expect from Ecuador’s presidential elections 

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Ecuadorians head to the polls today to vote in the first round of the presidential elections. Incumbent Rafael Correa is reluctantly standing down after serving the country for a decade.

Former Correa ally and vice-president Lenin Moreno is a popular political figure in Ecuador. He became paraplegic after being shot in the back in 1998. A prediction by online polls position him as most-likely to win the elections. However, a run-off is inevitable.

Moreno has tried in the past to distance himself from incumbent president Correa, following corruption scandals that have plagued the government and cast the ruling party in a negative light.

Moreno is favourite to win the elections, but is facing a strong challenge from conservative candidate Guillermo Lasso, who has vowed to cut taxes and reduce government spending.

Centre-right and former banker Guillermo Lasso has pledged to withdraw asylum rights from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange if he wins the elections. Assange has been in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012. Lasso has promised to create a million jobs.

Candidates are expected to win 40 percent of the vote in the first round to avoid a run-off.

12 million citizens are expected to cast their votes today. Voting is mandatory in Ecuador, and results are expected to be announced on Monday.

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