- Title: ECUADOR: Candidates finish campaigning ahead of Ecuador's presidential election
- Date: 25th April 2009
- Summary: QUITO, ECUADOR (APRIL 23, 2009) (REUTERS) CROWD WAVING FLAGS AND WATCHING MUSICAL PERFORMANCE AHEAD OF SPEECH BY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE LUCIO GUTIÃ‰RREZ AT CAMPAIGN CLOSING (SOUNDBITE) (SPANISH) DR. OSWALDO GALLO, GUTIERREZ POLITICAL COORDINATOR SAYING: "We're going to win the presidency of the Republic, through work, through the acceptance of the Ecuadorean people." LUCIO GUTIÃ‰RREZ GETTING ON STAGE (SOUNDBITE) ( SPANISH) LUCIO GUTIÃ‰RREZ, ECUADOREAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, SAYING: "If we want prices to continue rising, there's Correa. If we want more unemployment, more poverty, more crime, there's Correa." GUTIERREZ ON STAGE GUAYAQUIL ECUADOR) (APRIL 23, 2009) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ALVARO NOBOA SUPPORTERS WAVING FLAGS VARIOUS OF SUPPORTERS OF RAFAEL CORREA WAVING FLAGS IN FRONT OF STAGE (SOUNDBITE) (SPANISH) RAFAEL CORREA, ECUADOREAN PRESIDENT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION, SAYING: "We don't need you just to vote for president, governor and mayor but also for assembly members so that we can have the majority in the assembly and continue making changes through just laws for all." HUNDREDS OF SUPPORTERS AT CORREA CAMPAIGN CLOSING VARIOUS OF CORREA ON STAGE VARIOUS OF SUPPORTERS WAVING FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (SPANISH) FRANCISCO HERRERA, 43-YEAR-OLD ECUADOREAN WHO SUPPORTS CORREA SAYING: "How couldn't I agree with a president who has the courage to confront the banks, the corrupt press-- because it is corrupt-- and they don't report what is really happening." CORREA GREETING SUPPORTERS WHILE LEAVING
- Embargoed: 10th May 2009 13:00
- Location: Ecuador
- Country: Ecuador
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA4MI3WA1VV7KNQ8JDQJ4BXOLWX
- Story Text: Ecuadorean presidential candidates finish their campaigning ahead of the country's Sunday election.
Ecuador's three leading presidential candidates closed their campaigns on Thursday (April 23), ahead of Sunday's elections.
The leading opponent to current President Rafael Correa is ex-President Lucio Gutierrez, who is in second place with 13 percent support, compared to Correa's 47 percent.
Gutierrez closed his campaign in the capital city of Quito where he told supporters that Correa's policies have led to fiscal problems.
"If we want prices to continue rising, there's Correa. If we want more unemployment, more poverty, more crime, there's Correa," he said.
Gutierrez was ousted in 2005 after angry demonstrations over his involvement with the country's top court.
Following closely in third place is millionaire banana mogul Alvaro Noboa, on 12 percent support. Noboa criticizes Correa's influence over institutions like the courts and the new constitution, pushed through by Correa which allows him to run for a second term.
But many voters view Noboa, who has failed in three presidential bids, as part of an elite that presided over years of economic and political chaos.
Correa has a commanding lead in his bid for re-election, as he enjoys unprecedented popularity.
A survey by respected pollster Perfiles de Opinon gave show Correa has a giant 34 percent lead on the nearest presidential candidate.
Confident that he will win, the 46-year-old urged his supporters to vote his party for local elections and congress.
The former Roman Catholic missionary's tough style is also lauded by voters tired of weak governments, helping him stay popular even as the global crisis buffets the Andean country's economy.
"We don't need you just to vote for president, governor and mayor but also for assembly members so that we can have the majority in the assembly and continue making changes through just laws for all," he said at a Guayaquil rally.
After more than two years in office, the U.S.-trained economist has already outlasted his three predecessors, who were ousted by angry protests on the streets and turmoil in Congress.
An election would give Correa another four years. If he wins by 50 percent in the April 26 vote, it should allow him to win re-election in the first round and avoid a run-off.
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