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A supporter of presidential candidate Andres Arauz holds a portrait of former President Rafael Correa A supporter of presidential candidate Andres Arauz holds a portrait of former President Rafael Correa, Quito, Ecuador, Feb. 4, 2021 (AP photo by Dolores Ochoa).

Is Another Pink Tide About to Hit Ecuador?

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021

Ecuador’s presidential election was supposed to be a competition between a leftist candidate in the mold of exiled former President Rafael Correa, and a traditional, center-right and pro-market alternative. But when the votes were counted after Sunday’s first round, voters had delivered a surprise. Ecuadorians could end up with a choice between two leftists, potentially signaling that the coronavirus pandemic has opened the door to a new “pink tide” in South America.

The final outcome of the vote has not been decided and won’t be until the runoff on April 11. The only certainty is that no candidate earned enough votes on Sunday to win outright. The top vote-getter was Andres Arauz, a 36-year-old former minister in Correa’s Cabinet. But the vote for second place is too close to call, and a recount will be required to determine whose name will be on the runoff against him—either the market-friendly conservative Guillermo Lasso, or the Indigenous environmentalist Yaku Perez, who describes his views as “another left,” in contrast with that of Correa and Arauz. ...

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