Ecuador has elected its youngest president in history, with 35-year-old businessman Daniel Noboa securing a win with 52.3% of votes against his contender, Luisa González, who received 47.7%.
The president-elect, representing the National Democratic Action party, will serve for a shortened term of 17 months, lasting until May 2025.
This truncated term follows from an early election initiated by the outgoing President Guillermo Lasso’s decision to dissolve parliament amidst an impeachment trial. Despite the shorter term, Mr. Noboa has the option to run again for the 2025-29 presidential tenure.
Ecuador’s election backdrop was a concerning rise in violence and crime, with the campaign period witnessing the assassination of candidate Fernando Villavicencio, a journalist who actively spoke out against corruption.
The nation has experienced a surge in gang-related violence, making it a focal point for drug gangs due to its strategic location between Colombia and Peru, the world’s leading cocaine producers.
Addressing this grim reality, Mr. Noboa proposed innovative measures to curtail the spread of violence.
He suggested relocating Ecuador’s most dangerous criminals to prison ships to dismantle influential prison gangs and emphasized bolstering security at Ecuador’s borders and ports.
This would include the installation of scanners to intercept a higher number of cocaine shipments. Apart from these security measures, the president-elect also stressed the importance of enhancing employment opportunities for Ecuadorians.