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Archive for Monday, November 27, 2006

Leftist economist leads banana tycoon in election

November 27, 2006

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— A leftist nationalist who is friendly with Venezuela's anti-U.S. president held a commanding lead over a Bible-toting banana tycoon in Sunday's runoff presidential election in Ecuador, according to an unofficial quick count of votes.

A victory by Rafael Correa would strengthen South America's tilt to the left, with Ecuador joining like-minded governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and several other countries. But his opponent Alvaro Noboa did not concede defeat, saying he would wait for the official count to be completed.

Election officials said late Sunday they expected no significant official returns until this morning. A winner was not expected to be known until later today or Tuesday.

The quick count, conducted by a citizens' election watchdog group, gave Correa nearly 57 percent of the vote, compared with 43 percent for Noboa. It was based on sample votes from more than 1,600 voting stations and had a margin of error of less than 1 percentage point, the group said.

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