Ecuador has set Feb. 19, 2017, as election day, exactly one year from Friday, when the population will head to the polls to elect five regional parliamentarians, 137 federal lawmakers, the vice-president, and the president.
The announcement was made Thursday by Juan Pablo Pozo, head of Ecuador's electoral authority, known as the CNE.
The 2017 election will mark the first vote since 2006 where current President Rafael Correa will not appear on the ballot. Correa announced last year that he would not seek a third term.
The Ecuadorean constitution was amended in Dec.2015 to allow for unlimited consecutive re-elections of political posts, including the president. However, lawmakers included a provisional measure that made it so that term limits would only be eliminated after May 24, 2017: after the next general elections.
That transitional provision was proposed by President Rafael Correa in an effort to calm critics who accused the president of seeking to extend his time in power.
Correa's party, PAIS Alliance, will decide its candidate later this year. Speculation suggests that Correa's vice-president from his first term, Lenin Moreno, will be the likely candidate.
CNE President Juan Pablo Pozo also announced a number of measures aimed at speeding up the announcement of results. Instead of going through an intermediary, as in past elections, results will be transmitted directely from the voting centers to the CNE.
“We are committed to having all the records uploaded to the website of the CNE that very night and with that system we can have the final official results in five days,” said Pozo.
In order to facilitate voting for all Ecuadoreans, the CNE will set up 44,510 voting centers inside the country and 887 for Ecuadoreans abroad.
Pozo specified that all registered political organizations will have the right to scrutinize the vote at every stage. There are currently 155 registered organizations and a further 50 that are in the process of registering.
The deadline for candidates to register to participate is Nov. 18. The campaign will officially begin Jan. 3, 2017.
Should a second round be required, it will be held April 2, 2017.
The president-elect will take his or her post on May 24, 2017.