Daniel Noboa has become Ecuador’s youngest-ever president as he defeated leftist politician Luisa González in elections.
According to the head of the electoral authority CNE, the thirty-five-year-old Noboa of the centre-right National Democratic Action Alliance led González, from the camp of ex-President Rafael Correa, by 52.30 per cent to 47.7 per cent, with more than 90 per cent of votes counted.
Following the success of Noboa’s success at the presidential poll, González sent his congratulatory message to the banana entrepreneur.
“Today we made history,” Noboa said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter. We are going for a country… where promises do not remain in the electoral campaign and corruption is punished,” he added.
Voter turnout was about 82 per cent, CNE head Diana Atamaint said.
Some 13 million Ecuadorians were eligible to cast their ballot following an election campaign marred by the killing of one of the contenders amid a surge in crime nationwide.
Mr Noboa is the heir to his father, Alvaro Noboa’s banana business empire.
The campaign leading up to Sunday’s elections was overshadowed by the death of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, who was shot dead on August 9 after a campaign event in Quito.
The government blamed organised crime for his death, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
Ecuador serves as a transit country for cocaine, and several crime syndicates are battling to control the smuggling routes.
Mr Villavicencio had announced that he would crack down on corruption and crime if he were to gain the presidency. He had reported on the corruption of Mr Correa’s government (2007-17) with fellow journalist and friend Christian Zurita, who was fielded by his party Construye (Build) as his replacement in the race.
Last weekend, seven suspects thought to have been linked to Villavicencio’s murder were found dead in prison.
In the first round of voting on August 20, Mr González came out on top. However, none of the candidates achieved the necessary majority to avoid a runoff.
The elections had been brought forward after conservative President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the National Assembly amid impeachment proceedings against him for alleged embezzlement.