Correa wins second re-election in Ecuador

Monday 18 February 2013 14.26
Rafael Correa said the outcome was a victory for the 'citizens' revolution'
Rafael Correa said the outcome was a victory for the 'citizens' revolution'

Leftist President Rafael Correa has breezed to a second re-election in Ecuador.

The US-educated economist won 56.9% of the vote against 23.8% for his closest challenger, former banker Guillermo Lasso, with 57% of the vote counted.

Mr Correa, 48, called the outcome a victory for his "citizens' revolution", and promised to further reduce poverty.

The UN says the poverty rate has dropped nearly 5% to 32.4% since he first took office in 2007.

"We are only here to serve you. Nothing for us. Everything for you," Mr Correa told jubilant supporters from the balcony of the Carondelet presidential palace, celebrating long before official results were released.

Mr Lasso, the ex-head of the Banco de Guayaquil, had run a business-friendly, but relatively tame campaign.

He conceded as first official results were released.

Former president Lucio Gutierrez won 6%. The rest of the vote was divided among five other candidates.

Mr Correa has brought surprising stability to an oil-exporting nation with a history of unruliness that cycled through seven presidents in the decade before him.

With the help of oil prices that have stayed around $100 a barrel, he has raised living standards among the poor and widened the welfare state with region-leading social spending.

Mr Correa, who is now legally barred from another four-year term, dedicated his victory to Venezuela's cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez, his close ally among Latin America's alliance of leftist leaders.

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