Lenín Moreno, candidate of the ruling Movimiento Alianza País, remains in first place according to polls ahead of Ecuador's presidential elections next February 19. Photo:

QUITO.— With less than a month until general elections in Ecuador, scheduled for February 19, the eight presidential hopefuls are intensifying their electoral campaigns, in order to guarantee a majority of votes.

Following the first weeks of the electoral battle, voting intention surveys maintain predictions that Lenín Moreno, candidate of the ruling Movimiento Alianza País, will secure the necessary votes to enter the presidential Carondelet Palace.

Moreno has toured Guayaquil and Loja, and held meetings with artisans, women and young people, assuring them that their energy and desire to change the future will be the driving force of his government, because “the future will not be halted.”

His campaign also included an exchange with authorities from 41 universities in the country, as one of the programs of the Alianza País for the next term is focused on quality higher education, for which all associated sectors have been called on to work together.

Likewise, the rest of the presidential candidates continue their visits to media outlets to explain their plans for government, and to different regions of the country, in search of supporters.

Guillermo Lasso, of the CREO (Creating Opportunities) Party, maintains his invitation for change and affirms that his government, if elected, would strengthen the institutionality of the Armed Forces, while the Defense Minister would be a non-active officer.

His main recent visits were made to the provinces of Guayas, Azuay, Cuenca and the Galápagos Islands, where he continued to pledge to generate a million jobs in four years, but he also ventured to Miami, where he was interviewed by CNN en Español.

According to the polls, Lasso ranks second in popularity in the lead up to the vote, with about 15 points less than Moreno.

Cynthia Viteri, the only woman in the presidential race and representative of the Social Christian Party, also chose Guayaquil as the setting to ask for support for her platform, while in Esmeraldas province she promised housing, credit, incentives, employment and progress.

The politician is currently third place in the polls, while many agree that the real contest is for second place, between her and Lasso.

Ranking behind them are the candidates of the National Agreement for Change Party, Paco Moncayo, who promises an atmosphere of confidence, stability and certainty, with a serious tax policy; and Dalo Bucharam, of Fuerza Ecuador, whose most recent addition to his program includes the creation of a public veterinary hospital to provide care for pets.

Meanwhile, Washington Pesantez, of the Unión Ecuatoriana, is focused on reforming the agricultural sector, and is calling for a thorough investigation into the past 10 years of government of the Citizens’ Revolution.
Dr. Iván Espinel, leader of the Fuerza Compromiso Social Movement, the youngest and most politically inexperienced candidate, met with various media outlets, especially radio stations, in addition to touring some areas outside of Quito.

Finally, Patricio Zuquilanda, of the Patriotic Society Party, and foreign minister during the Lucio Gutiérrez administration, rather than contributing initiatives, has focused on criticizing the current government in radio and television interviews.

In general terms, the battle is essentially between representatives of right-wing governments who failed to solve the problems of the people in the past, a young man who is starting out in politics, with fresh ideas but without experience in government, and the project of continuity and consolidation of the Citizens’ Revolution of the last 10 years.

So far, neither the attempts to implicate government leaders in corruption cases currently under investigation, the criticisms of the candidates aspiring to the presidency, or half-baked promises, have managed to reduce the popularity of the Alianza País duo, composed of the former vice president of the Republic, Lenín Moreno, and the current Vice President, Jorge Glas.