Ecuador’s National Assembly has named María Alejandra Muñoz to replace Otto Sonnenholzner as vice president. Sonnenholzner resigned two weeks ago and is considering running for president in the February 2021 election.
In the Assembly vote, Muñoz beat out interior minister María Paula Romo, who has been highly visible during the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Lenin Moreno praised Muñoz’s selection, one of three candidates he submitted to the Assembly to fill the post. “She is has served impressively as a public servant and comes to the position eminently qualified,” he said Saturday.
Born in Guayaquil, the 41-year-old Muñoz currently serves as director of the National Customs Service where she is credited with rooting out corruption and streamlining the process for incoming goods. According to Moreno, the typical clearance of incoming goods has been reduced from three weeks to three days under Muñoz’s guidance.
A business and tax law attorney, Muñoz also has a business degree from the University of Miami and a masters of psychology degree with a specialty in the prevention of violence against women from the University of Salamanca, Spain.
She becomes the fourth vice president to serve in the Moreno government.