Ecuador Votes for New President

Ecuador Votes for New PresidentEcuador Votes for New President

Ecuadorians are voting in the first round of elections to choose a new president. Leftwing incumbent Rafael Correa is standing down after leading the country for a decade, BBC reported.

His former vice president, Lenin Moreno, is expected to lead Sunday's vote, but is facing a strong challenge from conservative Guillermo Lasso who has vowed to cut spending and taxes. Candidates need to win 40% of the vote to avoid a second round runoff.

Moreno, a key figure in Correa's Cabinet between 2007 and 2013, is predicted to win Sunday's vote, but not with enough to avoid the second round runoff. Center-right Lasso, a former banker who wants to create a million jobs, is his closest rival. 

Among Lasso's pledges is one to withdraw asylum rights from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 2012. Voting is mandatory in Ecuador and 12 million people are expected to cast their ballot on Sunday.

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