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Lenin Moreno leads after 1st round of presidential election in Ecuador — exit polls

February 20, 2:31 UTC+3 QUITO

Moreno is followed by a representative of the CREO center-right movement, former banker Guillermo Lasso in the second place and Cynthia Viteri who represents the right-wing Social Christian Party

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Ecuadorian presidential candidate Lenin Moreno

Ecuadorian presidential candidate Lenin Moreno

© EPA/JOSE JACOME

QUITO, February 20. /TASS/. Ecuador’s former Vice President, Lenin Moreno, who represents the ruling Alianza Pais party uniting left and center-left forces, is leading in the country’s presidential election with 36.2% of the votes, according to exit poll data provided be Market company.

Moreno is followed by a representative of the CREO center-right movement, former banker Guillermo Lasso in the second place and Cynthia Viteri who represents the right-wing Social Christian Party.

Exit poll provided by a separate pollster, Opinion Publica, cites the figures of 42.5% for Moreno, 27.7% for Lasso and 14.7% for Viteri.

To win the first round, a candidate must secure more than 50% of the votes or more than 40% provided that his lead over the closest rival is more than 10%. If none of the candidates succeeds to secure the required amount of the votes, the second round of elections will be held on April 2 for two strongest candidates from today’s round.

The polling stations across Ecuador opened on Sunday at 07:00 a.m. local time (3:00 p.m. Moscow Time) and closed at 5:00 p.m. local time (01:00 Monday, Moscow Time). Ecuador’s citizens aged over 16 are eligible to vote.

Voting is compulsory for individuals aged between 18 and 65 permanently residing in their home country. For citizens aged between 16 and 18 and over 65 years as well as for illiterate people the voting is voluntary. The president-elect will take office on May 24. His term of office is four years.

Lenin Moreno is a wheelchair-bound since 1998, when criminals shot him in the back during a robbery attempt. Before starting the presidential election campaign, Moreno served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility.

The fight for the rights of physically challenged people became an important part of his campaign. He also advocates the continuation of the current president’s socially oriented policy, the promotion of Ecuadorian goods abroad and better access to high-quality education.

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