The campaign for hundreds of public offices officially kicked off on Tuesday and President Rafael Correa has taken official leave to stump for candidates from his Pais political party. The election for municipal and provincial offices is Feb. 23.
Correa began his campaigning in the rain in Cuenca, where he was greeted by several hundred supporters at Otogrongo Plaza. The president is campaigning especially hard for Cuenca Mayor Paul Granda, who faces former Cuenca mayor Marcelo Cabrera in what observers say could be close race.
Other heated races include the one for mayor in Guayaquil where long-time Mayor Jaime Nebot faces Viviana Bonilla from the Pais party.