1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Ecuador: Daniel Noboa wins presidential election

October 16, 2023

The center-right businessman will become Ecuador's youngest-ever president at 35 but faces formidable challenges. He defeated socialist Luisa Gonzalez in a run-off vote.

Presidential candidate Daniel Noboa, of the National Democratic Action Alliance political party, holds up a ballot after voting in a runoff election in Olon, Ecuado
Banana empire heir Noboa is 35-years-oldImage: Martin Mejia/AP/picture alliance

Daniel Noboa, will become Ecuador's next president after defeating Luisa Gonzalez in a run-off vote on Sunday.

The son of a banana baron, the 35-year-ild Noboa has promised to  to 'restore peace' to violence-plagued Ecuador

"Tomorrow we start work for this new Ecuador, we start working to rebuild a country seriously battered by violence, by corruption and by hate, From tomorrow Daniel Noboa starts work as your new president," Noboa told his supporters.

Gonzalez conceded defeat and congratulating Noboa on his victory after he won around 52% of the votes. 

The two advanced to the runoff by finishing ahead of six other candidates in the election's first round on August 22.

Voters' top concerns largely centered on the economy, which has struggled since the COVID-19 pandemic, and rising crime, including an increase in murders and prison riots.

Early election called after president dissolves legislature in May

The election was called after conservative President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the country's legislature in May to escape an impeachment trial just two years after being elected.

Noboa will govern for the remainder of Lasso's unfinished term, which is a period of one and a half years, or until 2025.

Voting is mandatory in Ecuador for people ages 18 through 64 and 13 million are eligible to vote. Those who don’t comply face a fine of about $45. 

The election took place without any major incidents.

"Today, Ecuador has triumphed, democracy has triumphed," the president of the National Electoral Council, Diana Atamint, said.

Noboa a banana empire heir

Noboa, 35, is an heir to a fortune built on Ecuador's main crop, bananas. His father runs a massive banana company and even tried to run for the presidency on five occasions.

But the elder Noboa has been unsuccessful at his attempts. Daniel Noboa's political career began in 2021, when he won a seat in the country's legislature and chaired its Economic Development Commission.

Before that, Daniel Noboa held several management positions in the shipping, logisitics and commercial industries at his father's Noboa Corp.

Ecuador votes in a presidential election

A rise in drug violence plagues country

Ecuadorians voted against the backdrop of violence that has intensified in the last few years.

A leading presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, known for his tough stance against corruption, was assassinated at a campaign rally in August, days before the first round of voting.

The law and order situation in Ecuador deteriorated during Lasso's presidency. The homicide rate quadrupled in just two years, transforming backdrop of violence on the planet.

Reports about violence and murders, both inside and outside the prison, undermined confidence in the government.

Lasso struggled to control conflicts between drug trafficking organizations figting for control of Ecuador's ports — crucial routes to transport narcotics from Colombia and Peru to the US and Europe.

The expansion of organized crime compromised Ecuador's judiciary, further harming Lasso's reputation.

Under Lasso's watch, violent deaths soared, reaching 4,600 in 2022, the country's highest in history. The National Police tallied 3,568 violent deaths in the first half of 2023. 

rm/msh (AP, Reuters, dpa)