Palacios defeated in mayor’s race by councilman Christian Zamora; Lloret beats Cabrera for prefect

Feb 6, 2023 | 18 comments

With almost all votes counted, municipal councilman Christian Zamora has defeated Pedro Palacios for mayor of Cuenca. Palacios will continue a 20-year tradition of one-term mayors in the city.

In the race for Azuay Province prefect, Juan Cristóbal Lloret has narrowly defeated former Cuenca mayor Marcelo Cabrera. Cabrera had been the favorite in the race and a Sunday exit poll showed him with a 4% lead.

Cuenca’s new mayor Christian Zamora and Azuay Province’s new prefect Juan Cristóbal Lloret.

In the tightly contested mayoral race, Zamora had 18.55% of the vote to Palacios’ 17.48%. Adrian Castro followed with 17.6% while former Azuay prefect Paul Carrasco had 16.7%. According to local election council officials, it is the most competitive mayoral race in almost 50 years.

“I thank my friends and thank the people of Cuenca,” Zamora said in early morning comments, pledging to work with Palacios for a “smooth and peaceful” transition. “Mayor Palacios is a colleague who I have worked with for the last four years and I expect to maintain a cordial relationship with him as we change leadership.”

Professionally, Zamora is an industrial engineer who holds a doctorate in administrative sciences from the Monterrey [Mexico] Institute of Technology.

With the final votes being counted, Lloret had 22.3% of the votes to Cabrera’s 19.55% in the prefect race. Lloret, an engineer with a specialty in hydrology, is a member of the Union of Hope party and currently represents Azuay Province in the National Assembly.

In national election results, Pabel Muñoz defeated former Quito mayor Jorge Yunda while, in what is considered the biggest upset of the election, Guayaquil Mayor Cynthia Viteri lost to Achilles Alvarez by a wide margin.

Viteri’s defeat ends more than 30 years of Social Christian control of Guayaquil government that began with the election of León Febres-Cordero in 1991 and continued with Jaime Nebot. Viteri was elected mayor in 2019.

The victories of Muñoz and Alvarez, running on the Revolución Ciudadana ticket, were celebrated Sunday night by supporters of former president Rafael Correa. “We are on the road to regaining power,” Correa tweeted from Mexcio. “Congratulations to Pabel and Achilles for their part in rebuilding the Citizens Revolution.”

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