Exit Polls Show Socialist Lead Over Banker in Ecuador Vote

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Exit Polls Show Socialist Lead Over Banker in Ecuador Vote” – below is their description.

Socialist candidate Andres Arauz won the first round of Ecuador’s presidential election and will face career banker Guillermo Lasso in a runoff, according to exit polls.

Arauz got 34.9% of votes cast, compared to 21% for Lasso, according to polling company Cedatos. Another exit poll, by Clima Social, found a similar result.

If these findings are confirmed by the official tally, the pair will face each other in an April 11 runoff after none of the 16 candidates for president got enough votes to secure a first-round win on Sunday.

“We won,” Arauz said in a tweet shortly after the release of the exit polls, adding that he had a 2-to-1 advantage over “the banker”.

Arauz is the candidate most feared by foreign investors, and his strong showing means that the nation’s dollar bonds “will definitely be weaker on Monday,” said Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America fixed income strategy at Amherst Pierpont in New York.

The National Electoral Council is expected to publish the result of a quick count close to 8p.m. local time.

The campaign for control of Ecuador, an oil exporter and world-leading producer of bananas, shrimp, and the balsa wood crucial for wind-turbine rotors, has become a battleground of international interests.

Arauz, 36, is a protege of exiled former leader Rafael Correa, who allied the country with the socialist governments of Venezuela and Cuba and who often had an acrimonious relationship with Washington.

Arauz has pledged to provide $1,000 to 1 million needy families, and says he’ll avoid austerity measures of the kind Ecuador agreed to as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund last year. Lasso, 65, says he’ll boost the monthly minimum wage to $500, from $400.

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