Correa declares victory in Ecuador

Results mirror exit polls that puts Rafael Correa way ahead in the presidential race.

    Correa (l) has pledged to construct 100,000 low-cost homes

    However the results mirror earlier opinion polls that predicted a landslide win for Correa, a leftist candidate.
    Final results are expected to be announced on Tuesday.

    Victory speech

    Correa, a US-trained economist and ally of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's president, told supporters that we "accept this victory with dignity and humility".
    At an earlier news conference in Quito, Correa said: "Thank God, we have triumphed. We are just instruments of the power of the people. This is a clear message that the people want change."

    "We are just instruments of the power of the people. This is a clear message that the people want change"

    Rafeal Correa

    Feature: Left foot forward in Ecuador

    He said he would keep his promise to carry out widespread reforms which include re-negotiating debt agreements, opposing a US free-trade pact and re-writing the constitution. 

    "The people have given us a clear mandate, with the second largest margin in the last 30 years of democracy," he later told reporters in his tropical home city Guayaquil.

    "We want a deep political reform."

    However, Noboa, a billionaire banana magnate, rejected Sunday's early results, saying he would wait for the official count to end.

    He said in a television interview: "I know in my interior that I won. The electoral tribunal will give the official figure once it has finished the vote count."

    Citizens' revolution

    Correa won a place in Sunday's run-off by pledging a "citizens' revolution" against the discredited country's political system.

    Ecuadoreans have driven the last three elected presidents from power and Correa appealed to voters as a fresh face in a field of established politicians.

    He has pledged to construct 100,000 low-cost homes and copied Noboa's promise to double to $36 a "poverty bonus" that 1.2 million poor Ecuadoreans receive each month.

    Correa's election would add another member to South America's grouping of left-leaning nations, which already includes Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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