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News > Latin America

Ecuador Hosts Second and Final Presidential Debate

  • Ecuador's presidential debate begins.

    Ecuador's presidential debate begins. | Photo: teleSUR

Published 5 February 2017

Tonight's debate included all eight candidates for the first time, two weeks before the vote.

During the second debate Sunday for the upcoming presidential elections in Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, from the governing party, recalled that the country was “devastated” when he was elected as vice president with Rafael Correa in 2007.

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He explained how the Citizen Revolution's achievements will continue if he is elected, during the debate, aired live on national TV.

“In my government, we will create jobs with dignity. We will create 40 technical universities to educate the people. The human development bonus will also be raised from US$50 to US$150, according to the vulnerability of the person, and we will eradicate extreme poverty in our country.”

He also promised a governmental program guaranteeing housing for the poorest in the country.

“If you want to advance rights for the disabled, you'll have to use a time machine because we already achieved that,” he added.

Moreno, who is leading in polls, refused to participate in the first debate organized by Guayaquil's Chamber of Commerce, arguing that the topics selected would not include various marginalized sectors of society and only sought a confrontation between candidates.

Right-wing candidate and businessman Guillermo Lasso promised to privatize health, eliminate taxes for private health operators, eliminate the ministry for higher education, and repeal the media law created by the progressive government of Rafael Correa.

Christian Democratic and another right-wing opposition candidate Cynthia Viteri said she wanted to hold a referendum on bringing back the death penalty, which has been abolished since the late 1800's in Ecuador.

Ecuador Elections 2017

“The private sector has been put up against the wall with the current government. We will work closely with the private sector.”

Retired General Paco Moncayo claimed that “Ecuador has become the most expensive country in Latin America,” and “demanded to see the Odebrecht list.”

Tonight's debate was organized in Quito by El Comercio, the national daily newspaper, with 40 questions written by academics, which are expected to sum up questions submitted by Ecuadorean citizens.

On Friday, Correa warned that a smear campaign against the government is being organized and led from Miami by former fugitive bankers and former officials prosecuted for corruption.

Correa confirmed during a public event that Carlos Pareja Yannuzzelly, a former oil minister, whom he called a "fugitive and traitor," and the brothers William and Roberto Isaias, accused of bank embezzlement, living as fugitives in Miami, met in Florida.

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