Ecuador made history on Sunday
after the country elected its first ever youngest president, Daniel Noboa.
Noboa, the 35-year-old scion of a banana empire, was declared Ecuador’s youngest president-elect ever, amidst a nation plagued by violence.
With 90 percent of the votes meticulously counted, the electoral authority officially pronounced Noboa as the victor in this historic election.
His socialist rival, Luisa Gonzalez, conceded defeat and extended her “profound congratulations” to Noboa, emphasizing the importance of democratic values.
Addressing her supporters in Quito, Gonzalez also made it clear that she would not pursue claims of electoral fraud, respecting the integrity of the democratic process.
Ecuadorans exercised their democratic right for a grueling 10 hours on Sunday, all the while in a nation scarred by a violent drug war and a series of political assassinations that prematurely ended the aspirations of a beloved candidate.
Despite this backdrop of insecurity, there were no reports of violence during the voting process.
To ensure the safety of the election, approximately 100,000 police and soldiers were deployed across the nation.
Noboa and Gonzalez themselves cast their votes while wearing bulletproof vests, a stark reminder of the threats looming over the political landscape, particularly after a rival had been tragically murdered just weeks before.
Both candidates had made it a focal point of their campaigns to address the escalating violence that has engulfed Ecuador. Indigenous voter Ramiro Duchitanga, speaking from Cuenca in the country’s south, aptly summarized the urgency of the situation, saying, “May we elect the best president because (he or she) will govern a country that is destroyed… to address all these problems such as insecurity.”
Freddy Escobar, a prominent 49-year-old singer, expressed the anxiety felt by many Ecuadorans, emphasizing his primary concern as crime. He noted, “I am voting in fear, not knowing what will happen.”