In a surprising turn of events, Daniel Noboa becomes Ecuador's youngest president. Daniel Noboa, the 35-year-old heir to a banana fortune, has emerged as the winner in Ecuador's presidential election, pledging a hard line on rocketing violent crime, youth employment, and foreign investment.
With a margin of around five points over his rival, leftist lawyer Luisa González, Daniel Noboa is set to become Ecuador's youngest ever president.
With 90% of the votes counted on Sunday night, Daniel Noboa secured 52.29% of the vote against Luisa González's 47.71%, according to Ecuador's electoral council.
Luisa González, the hand-picked candidate of former president Rafael Correa, gracefully accepted her defeat and pledged her support for the new president.
In his message on X (formerly Twitter), Daniel Noboa emphasized that electoral promises would not remain confined to the campaign. He vowed to address the critical issues facing Ecuador, focusing on security and employment.
Today we have made history. Ecuadorian families chose the new Ecuador, they chose a country with security and employment.- Daniel Noboa
Ecuador has been grappling with a surge in violent crime, largely driven by drug trafficking, which has turned the country into one of the most violent in the region, with the fourth-highest homicide rate, surpassing even Mexico.
To combat this menace, Noboa proposed a unique approach – placing the most violent criminals on ships off Ecuador's Pacific coast.
A woman is casting vote in Ecuador.
lvaro Noboa, the wealthiest man in Ecuador and a five-time presidential candidate, was joined in the August runoff by his millennial son, Noboa.
His popularity soared with voters under the age of 30, who make up a third of the electorate, thanks to his cool demeanor and refusal to stir up trouble.
The Harvard Kennedy School alumnus promised to boost foreign investment and create more employment throughout his campaign. He also advocated for tax breaks for startups.
Noboa advocated a solution to crime by placing violent offenders aboard ships in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador.
He also proposed increasing the military's presence at the country's borders and along its coastline, as these are major drug smuggling routes.
He recommended tax exemptions and incentives for new businesses and pledged to attract more foreign investment to Ecuador.
While Daniel Noboa's victory marks a turning point for Ecuador, significant challenges await him during his relatively short term in office.
He will only govern for 17 months, completing the term of outgoing President Guillermo Lasso, who dissolved the congress during an impeachment trial and called for snap elections.
The recent election campaign was marred by unprecedented violence, including the assassination of anti-corruption candidate Fernando Villavicencio.
This event highlighted the gravity of Ecuador's security situation and the urgent need for effective measures to combat crime.
Ecuador's Pacific ports have become prime targets for drug traffickers, with cocaine often concealed in shipping containers filled with bananas, the country's top export.
The new president will need international assistance to combat this transnational issue, as Ecuador is positioned between the world's main cocaine-producing countries, Colombia and Peru.
With no parliamentary majority, Daniel Noboa may struggle to find consensus among Ecuador's politically fragmented landscape. Cooperation and unity will be crucial in addressing the country's pressing challenges.
As one Ecuadorian voter put it, "Ecuadoreans need peace; we can't stand the violence anymore." The election of Daniel Noboa offers a glimmer of hope for a country plagued by violence, crime, and economic challenges.
While the road ahead is undoubtedly difficult, Noboa's commitment to creating a safer and more prosperous Ecuador resonated with voters, particularly the younger demographic.
The newly elected president faces a monumental task. Ecuador's problems are multifaceted, ranging from crime and violence to economic struggles and international drug trafficking.
While his term may be short, the impact of his leadership could shape Ecuador's future for years to come.
It remains to be seen whether Daniel Noboa can rise to the occasion and guide Ecuador towards a brighter and more secure future.