In an exclusive report, TRNN correspondent Kimberley Brown speaks to voters who gave Lenin Moreno a narrow victory over right wing candidate Guillermo Lasso
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KIM BROWN: Ecuadorians elected a new President Sunday, voting to keep the current left-wing party of President Rafael Correa in power. Correa’s former Vice-President Lenin Moreno won the election with 51% of the vote over his opponent, Guillermo Lasso of the right-wing CREO Party, who finished with 49%. Hundreds of supporters gathered at the Allianza Pais headquarters Sunday night to celebrate the win, which some have called a win for the working class people. MAN: (Spanish) … WOMAN: (Spanish) … WOMAN(2): (Spanish) … KIM BROWN: President Rafael Correa has led two terms in office and continues to be popular mainly among low-income and working class Ecuadorians. They have been the main beneficiaries of his more progressive policies, which have decreased inequality and cut poverty rates nearly in half, dropping from 42.2% in 2005 down to 22.5% in 2014, according to the World Bank. Many of those who voted for Moreno voted to maintain these policies and what Allianza Pais has called the “Citizens Revolution”. MAN: (Spanish) … MAN: (Spanish) …? MAN: (Spanish) … KIM BROWN: But former President Rafael Correa has gained an increasing number of critics, mainly due to increasing public debt and growing unemployment, which is also related to the drop in oil prices. His government has also been highly criticized for silencing dissenting voices and accused of corruption, mainly through the state-run oil company, PetroEcuador, and accepting bribes from the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht. WOMAN: (Spanish) … MAN: (Spanish) … WOMAN: (Spanish) … KIM BROWN: Tensions between Lasso and Moreno supporters have been high lately, with both sides accusing the other of corruption. Lasso, a former banker, has also been accused of being involved in the 1999 banking crisis that devastated the country. The tension was emphasized Sunday when Lasso supporters preemptively started celebrating their win when one exit poll put Lasso seven points ahead of Moreno. People across the capital of Quito took to the streets to celebrate. MAN: (Spanish) … KIM BROWN: Lasso as well as his supporters have denounced the election results and accused the government of fraud. However, according to the over 350 international observers who were present – including members of the Organization of American States and the Union of South American Nations – there was no evidence of foul play. For more on the Ecuadorian election results, visit TheRealNews.com. ————————- END