Noboa picks up support from defeated candidates; Government backtracks on Yasuní position; High UV warning issued as new temperature records are set
Ecuador’s Social Christian Party says it will support Daniel Noboa (National Democratic Action) in the runoff election against Luisa González (Citizens Revolution).
In a Thursday statement, the party said Noboa best represents PSC interests of fighting crime with an “iron fist,” supporting economic growth and investment, creating employment opportunities and making major investments in public works and services.
The statement added: “We will never support the socialist proposals of the Citizens Revolution.”
PSC had supported Jan Topic in the August 20 election. Topic finished fourth Sunday with about 15% of the vote.
On Wednesday, Christian Zurita of the Construye Movement and the replacement for the assassinated Fernando Villavicencio, urged followers to vote against González, saying “we cannot support the political mafia of the Citizens Revolution.” Although he did not mention Noboa by name, he said Construye votes should be “applied to the alternate candidate.”
On Thursday, Construye leadership said Zurita planned to meet with Noboa to “define and formulate” positions regarding crime and corruption.
Together, Topic and Zurita, garnered more than 30% of the vote in the first presidential election.
Government backtracks on Yasuní position
The government backtracked Thursday afternoon on its earlier position of not supporting the “yes” vote to end oil production in Yasuní National Park. In a statement, President Guillermo Lasso’s press secretary said that “the government will abide by this decision but only after the results of the popular consultation are made official by the National Electoral Council.”
Thursday morning, Lasso’s press office issued a statement questioning the validity of the vote on grounds that only residents in the area near Yasuní oil operations should have been allowed vote on the question. Later, Energy Minister Fernando Santos suggested the Constitutional Court was error in putting the question to a nationwide vote.
In a Thursday afternoon press conference, the Yasunidos Collective called the government’s position an “outrageous affront to democratic process” and said it was considering protests if the election results were not respected. “Because of government corruption, we have waited 10 years to address the Yasuní question and now the government says it will ignore the will of the people,” a Collective spokesman said. “We will not accept this insanity.”
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie) also reacted to the government’s Thursday morning announcement of non-compliance with the vote, saying it was considering a national mobilization.
Weather service issues high UV level warning
The National Meteorology Institute (Inamhi) warns that dangerous levels of UV radiation will affect much of the country on Friday. “We will experience similar conditions of high solar radiation that occurred on Wednesday and Thursday,” Inamhi said. “We urge residents in affected areas to take precautions to protect themselves from UV dangers.”
On Thursday, Inamhi reported “highly dangersous” levels of UV in several sierra cities, including Quito, Riobamba and Cuenca.
Many locations in the central valley, including Cuenca, Loja and Ambato, set high temperature records on Thursday due to intense sunlight. Inamhi reported that dozens of new temperature records have been recorded in the sierra in August, saying the high temperatures may be related to the developing El Nino phenomenon as well as global warming. Historically, August is the coolest month of the year in the Ecuadorian Andes, the Inamhi says.