Ecuador's elected president targets oil revenue
Rafael Correa has been officially declared the winner of Ecuador's Sunday presidential run off after results showed his with a lead of 15 points over his rival Alvaro Noboa. With over 90% of votes tallied the US trained economist has 57.9% of the vote while Conservative banana tycoon Noboa 42.1%.
Narciza Subia one of the seven Supreme Electoral Tribunal judges said on Tuesday: "Rafael Correa is the new president of Ecuador. The trend is not going to change".
Correa a friend of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez joins a tide of left wing populist leaders elected to office in Latinamerica. Earlier this month in Nicaragua Washington's Cold War enemy populist Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega made a comeback and Chavez is forecasted to be re-elected next Sunday.
Speaking from his home city Guayaquil the former Economy minister said that "the people have given us a clear mandate with the second largest margin in the last 30 years of democracy".
"We are just instruments of the power of the people. This is a clear message that the people want change", he emphasized.
The changes include renegotiation of the foreign oil contracts in order to more than quadruple the share of crude volume received by the state and an increase in the share of extra oil revenue that private companies are forced to hand over.
"Starting January 16, we will sit down and try to renegotiate the volume, the participation of the state in these contracts" said Correa who is sworn to office next January 15.
He said the state currently receives 20% of the crude extracted from its soil and his government will seek to boost that share from all companies to around 85%. Correa also announced he would not go ahead with the free trade pact with United States arguing that having the US dollar as the country's currency it leaves Ecuadorian farmers totally exposed to US agriculture exports.
Interviewed by CNN Correa denied he was Communist, (as he was constantly barraged during the campaign by Noboa), although he "respects them", and described himself as a "left wing Christian humanist" and church going Catholic. Correa won a place in Sunday's run-off by pledging a "citizens' revolution" against the discredited country's political system and promised to keep his electoral promises. He has pledged to construct 100.000 low-cost homes and copied Noboa's promise to double to 36 US dollars a "poverty bonus" that 1.2 million poor Ecuadorians receive monthly. In spite of compulsory voting, official figures register a 23.9% abstention plus another 11% of blank and destroyed ballots.
He has pledged to construct 100.000 low-cost homes and copied Noboa's promise to double to 36 US dollars a "poverty bonus" that 1.2 million poor Ecuadorians receive monthly.
In spite of compulsory voting, official figures register a 23.9% abstention plus another 11% of blank and destroyed ballots.