Monday, October 16, 2006

Ecuador's election

Ecuador went to the polls today in the first round of Presidential elections, and with 65% of the vote counted, banana magnate Álvaro Noboa is leading ahead of former economy minister Rafael Correa. Fortunately, he's not leading by anywhere near enough, and so there will be a runoff in late November.

This is a straight-up left-right battle, between Ecuador's richest man and a populist supporter of Hugo Chavez. It will be interesting to see how it goes, and whether the trend of South America turning red will continue, or whether Ecuador will join the pro-US neo-liberal bloc.

For those wondering, the next election in this fascinating game will be the Brazilian run-off on 29 October, followed by Nicaragua on 5 November. The latter will be particularly interesting, as the leading candidate is former Sandinista President Daniel Ortega, who the Americans waged a dirty war against during the 80's (ultimately culminating in the Iran-Contra affair). The Bush Administration does not want to see him elected - but fortunately the choice isn't up to them.