Business heir Daniel Noboa on October 15 won Ecuador’s presidential election. The 35-year-old leader won more than 52% of the vote, while his leftist adversary Luisa Gonzalez won about 48%, with more than 90% of ballot boxes counted.
Noboa formed his own party, National Democratic Action, ahead of the election. The party has won the third-highest number of seats in August legislative elections. The leader will have just 17 months to govern, as he is serving a truncated term from December 2023 to May 2025. He will be able to run again in the regularly-scheduled 2025 contest.
In his election campaign, Noboa made a special point to woo young people, as did his competitor Gonzalez, with events at universities towards the end of the campaign. About a quarter of the 13 million Ecuadoreans obliged to vote are between the ages of 18 and 29.
As president of the South American country, Noboa has pledged to improve the economy and create jobs for young people, and address rising crime and violence. The economy of Ecuador has struggled since the coronavirus pandemic and motivated many thousands of citizens to migrate – and sharply rising crime. Noboa has said he will balance meeting Ecuador’s foreign debt obligations with the needs of the population, and pledged to beef up security at ports and airports – the hot spots for drug smuggling.