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Ecuador: Rafael Correa easily wins victory in presidential election with 61 percent of the vote


Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa (C) celebrates his re-election flanked by his current Vice-President Lenin Moreno (L) and his Vice-President elect Jorge Glass, at the Carondelet presidential palace in Quito on February 17, 2013.



Rafael Correa has easily won victory in Ecuador's presidential election, taking 61 percent of the vote according to a preliminary results.

The margin entitles him to a third term without having a runoff, the LA Times reported

Correa, 49, a US-trained leftist economist who has spent heavily on Ecuador's poor.

His closest challenger was banker Guillermo Lasso, who received 24 percent of the vote, with former President Lucio Gutierrez (6 percent) and banana exporter Alvaro Noboa (4 percent) a distant third and fourth, according to the Associated Press

The Times quoted Correa as saying:

"This victory is for all Ecuadoreans, to our families, our friends, our neighbors, the entire nation. All for you, a people dignified and free."

Reuters wrote that the win would hand Correa more control over the economy and provide a boost to Latin America's socialist leaders.

It will also open him up to criticism of dictatorial behavior and moving to quash free enterprise through heavy taxation and regulation.

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