It seems that Ecuador's presidential election is heading towards a runoff as partial results exhibited that leftist candidate Lenin Moreno fell short of the lead needed to win outright in first-round vote.
With 51.8 per cent of the ballots counted, Moreno had 38.26 per cent of the vote with 29.86 per cent for his conservative rival Guillermo Lasso, the president of the National Electoral Council, Juan Pablo Pozo, said in a televised announcement yesterday.
Moreno needed more than 40 per cent and a 10-point lead over his rival to win outright without facing a runoff. If in the end Lasso wins the presidency, a pillar of the Latin American left will swing to the right.
Correa says Latin America needs a strong leftist movement to resist US President Donald Trump's hard line on immigration and trade. But Lasso has shown more willingness to work with Washington since Trump's election victory in November.
Lasso has also said he will end WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's asylum in Ecuador's London embassy. Assange is taking refuge there from possible extradition to the United States for publishing leaked documents that embarrassed Washington.
The busting of a commodities boom has hastened the end of two decades of leftist predominance in Latin America. Argentina, Brazil and Peru have all switched to conservative governments since late 2015.