With 88.5% of the votes counted, Lenin Moreno, of the governing PAIS Alliance, had a ten point lead over his closest political rival, ex banker Guillermo Lasso, but one point short of the 40% needed to win in the first round of Ecuador''s Sunday presidential elections. The National Electoral Commission reported that Moreno was leading the vote count 39,11% by 28,31% Lasso, leader of the right wing Creating Opportunities Movement, while Cynthia Vireti, of the Social Christian Party, comes third with 16,32%.
According to the Electoral Law, for a hopeful to win in the first round he must get 50% of the vote, or a minimum of 40% with a ten point lead on top of the runner-up.
Gabriela Rivadeneira at the press conference in Quito. Photo: AndesGabriela Rivadeneira, the head of the Ecuadorean National Assembly, announced Wednesday that she was sent a lethal explosive device in the mail. »Today I received in my office an envelope addressed to me with a CD that turned out to be a medium-range explosive with lethal capability.« According to Rivadeneira, the first female head of the National Assembly and former member of Pachakutik, the device »fortunately did not explode« and is now being investigated by district attorney's office.
Earthquake in Ecuador. Image: ANDESA magnitude 7,8 earthquake occurred Saturday at 18:58 in many Ecuadorian cities, its epicenter was in Pedernales (Manabi), in the Ecuadorian coast, at a depth of 20km with no alert of tsunami, Alexandra Alvarado, from the Geophysical Institute said. The US Geophysical Institute, on the other hand, reported that the earthquake was 7,4 and lasted more than a minute followed by a number of aftershocks mainly in the Ecuadorian coast: Muisne, Rosa Zarate, Santo Domingo de los Colorados.
Film maker and nature activist Alexandra Costeau in Ecuadorian jungle. Foto: ANDES (CC BY-SA 2.0)The Ecuadorian Attorney General’s Office rejected on Tuesday the decision of the Appeals Court of the Columbia’s District (Washington) which ordered Ecuador to pay 96 million dollars to the oil company Chevron in a case it claims infringement of the Bilateral Investment Agreement with the US and affirmed it analyzes options to appeal the ruling and make it void.
“The Appeals Court has repeated the error of the trial court: it has rejected to apply the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of the US which would have obliged them to examine the existence of an investment protection treaty to protect Chevron. If it was done, they would probably found inconsistency of the protection of an investment that ended before the validity of the Treaty,” Attorney Diego Garcia said through a statement.