Reported By Trish Regan | April 13, 2021
After ten years as the ruling party, the populist left has been defeated in Ecuador.
Businessman Guillermo Lasso, a conservative banker, defeated the protégé of leftist ex-president Rafael Correa, setting the country on a new pro-business path.
“The first action will be to put the economy in order, promote investment and generate employment so that all Ecuadorians do not emigrate, stay in Ecuador and achieve the dreams they want for their families here,” Lasso said at a press conference Monday.
It was an unexpected rise for Lasso who barely won the chance for a runoff with less than 0.5% of the votes. He faced an uphill battle–running against the legacy of President Rafael Correa, a leftist authoritarian leader who governed Ecuador for a decade from 2007 until 2017, when he was sentenced to prison for a corruption scandal.
In the runoff election, Lasso beat Correa’s protégé, Andrés Arauz, a 36-year-old leftist economist. Guillermo Lasso, age 65, received more than 52% of the vote to win the Presidency (his third attempt at the office.) The expectation is that Lasso will be more market friendly and, as such, will likely plan to work with the International Monetary Fund in an effort to stabilize the country’s finances.
Lasso has also promised humane treatment for Venezuelan refugees who are flooding Ecuador, as they are trying to escape poverty and chaos brought about by the Venezuelan socialist experiment.