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News > Ecuador

Six Citizens Are Running for the Ecuadorean Presidency So Far

  • The Indigenous Nationalities Confederation announces its presidencial candidate, May 25, 2023.

    The Indigenous Nationalities Confederation announces its presidencial candidate, May 25, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @CONAIE_Ecuador

Published 26 May 2023

Although all the presidential candidates complain about the "establishment," at least four of them openly espouse non-progressive political positions.

This week, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced that Ecuadorians will go to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on August 20. Although no candidacy has been made official before the CNE, six citizens publicly expressed their intention to run for the presidency.


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On Thursday, the Expanded Council of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) nominated Leonidas Iza as its presidential candidate. He led the massive protests that put President Guillermo Lasso in check in 2022.

So far, however, his candidacy has not been endorsed by the Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement, which has traditionally acted as the CONAIE's electoral organization.

Previously, Yaku Perez, who received the support of the CONAIE and Pachakutik in the 2021 elections, also launched his candidacy under the auspices of "We are Water," "Democracy Yes," and Popular Unity, three organizations that define themselves as "progressive."

On the side of openly conservative political positions, four candidates seek to reach the Presidency of the Republic. One of them is Fernando Villavicencio, who acted as an important political ally of Lasso from the National Assembly, which is currently dissolved.

The unexpected candidate who appears as an apolitical "outsider" is Jan Topic. This security entrepreneur and economist presents himself as a sniper who fought in "multiple countries around the world," among which he mentioned Ukraine and Syria.

A third candidate is Otto Sonnenholzner, who served as Vice President from December 2018 to July 2020, that is, during President Lenin Moreno's administration (2017-2021).

At the height of the pandemic, he resigned amid corruption scandals and accusations of inefficient management, evidenced by scenes of corpses on the streets of Guayaquil.

Finally, Daniel Noboa also announced his interest in becoming president. He is the son of Alvaro Noboa, a billionaire banana businessman who unsuccessfully tried to become president on more than 3 occasions during the last decades.

If none of the presidential candidates achieves the majority of votes on August 20, the electoral authorities will call a second round on October 15, when the two candidates with the most votes will compete for the presidency. 

The new legislators, the president, and the vice president will remain in their positions until May 24, 2025.


Leonidas Iza
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