Two candidates join presidential race as new polls show Noboa with a commanding lead

Jun 10, 2024 | 0 comments

As expected, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities President Leonidas Iza was selected Saturday as presidential candidate for the Pachakutik party. At the party convention in Quito, Iza said his key issues will be opposition to mining and oil operations and to reduction or elimination of fuel subsidies.

Leonidas Iza addresses the Pachakutik convention Saturday in Quito following his nomination as party president.

On Friday, Andrea González announced she will be a candidate for Construye, the party founded by assassinated 2023 presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. “I will carry the torch against corruption and violence that is Fernando’s heritage,” she said in an interview, indicating that Construye is open to forming alliances with other political movements with the exception the Social Christian Party and Citizens’ Revolution.

According to pollster and political consultant Fabricio Bentancourt, Iza and González are, so far, the most formidable announced challengers to President Daniel Noboa in the February 2025 election.

“Citizens Revolution is expected to name Luisa González and she will most likely be the leading opponent,” he said. “At this stage of the campaign, the decision by Jan Topic not to be a candidate has been the biggest news since he would have been a strong candidate. His decision was a major blow to the Social Christians, who were counting on him to be their candidate.”

In accepting the Pachakutik nomination, Iza said he had an “ambitious government plan” aimed at transforming the country. “In the coming political battle, we are stressing the importance of electing the best people for the National Assembly,” he said. “I assure you they will not be ‘political businessmen’,” a reference to Noboa.

Iza said the party “must reverse the disaster” of the 2023 election, when Pachakutik dropped from 27 National Assembly members to seven. “I believe our message for stopping the catastrophes of mining and oil drilling will connect with the people of Ecuador. I also believe they will support us in opposing the conditions imposed on the country by the IMF [International Monetary Fund] loan deal.”

Andrea González insisted she would campaign on the “inconvenient facts” revealed by Villavicencio in last year’s presidential campaign. “I have no intention of being the queen of bananas and will carry the fight against government corruption and violence. “I will continue promoting Fernando’s agenda of transparency to end the culture of corruption that is at the heart of Ecuadorian institutions,” she said. “The predictions of corruption he made before his death have proven true and I will carry his crusade forward.”

González said she and the Construye movement are “at heart” a center-left movement but said she will never support leftists who work with criminal elements and give in to extortion and bribery.

A Click Opinion poll taken last week showed Noboa with a wide lead over announced and prospective presidential challengers. Noboa had a 61% to 38% advantage over Citizens Revolution Luisa González, a 65% to 22% lead on Iza and a 59% to 39% lead over the as-yet unnamed Social Christian candidate.

“These numbers are only significant in showing that Noboa is ahead,” Bentancourt said. “They will tighten up as we approach the election and as candidates are officially named. We have a long way to go before February.”

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