Latin America & Caribbean

Ecuador election: Other candidates

Rafael Correa is the clear favourite to win Ecuador's presidential election on 17 February. Many analysts say his victory may be partly due to a fractured opposition. These are the seven candidates running against him.

Alberto Acosta

A co-founder of the Alianza Pais ruling party, Alberto Acosta, 65, was one of Rafael Correa's closest allies. He served as oil and mining minister at the beginning of Mr Correa's first term in 2007, and headed the assembly that rewrote Ecuador's constitution in 2008.

An economist, Mr Acosta resigned from his position in the assembly, accusing Mr Correa of betraying the party's socialist roots. He now likens the president to an "irresponsible bus driver."

He heads a coalition of grassroots movements, indigenous organisations and leftist parties. His political platform focuses on promoting sustainable development and protecting the environment. Different polls show him receiving between 3% and 8% percent of the vote.

Lucio Gutierrez

An engineer and former military officer who participated in a short-lived coup in 2000, Lucio Gutierrez is a staple in Ecuadorean politics. He was elected president in 2002 and was deposed by a popular uprising in 2005.

Mr Gutierrez, 55, leads Ecuador's largest and most organised opposition party, the Patriotic Society Party (PSP). He has strong support in the Amazon region, where he grew up and now owns a tilapia farm.

His campaign evolves around eliminating poverty and making the country safer by regulating the influx of foreigners and making it legal for citizens to carry weapons. Different polls show him on 4%-10% support.

Guillermo Lasso

A former head of Banco de Guayaquil, Ecuador's second largest bank, Guillermo Lasso is a relatively new face in Ecuadorean politics. He briefly served as minister of finance in 1999 and had some minor appointments in local governments.

Mr Lasso, 57, resigned from his position last year to launch his campaign.

Mr Lasso, who is running on a platform that focuses on creating more jobs by lowering taxes and providing incentives for businesses, may face stigma associated with his past as a banker. Ecuadoreans see banks as responsible for the 1999 financial crisis which led to the dollarisation of the economy.

But according to most polls, he is the top challenger to Rafael Correa. Polls show him getting between 9%-20% of the votes.

Alvaro Noboa

This is the fifth time that Alvaro Noboa, a 62-year-old wealthy banana tycoon, has run for office. His most successful campaign so far was in 2006, when he beat Rafael Correa in the first round (before losing in the second round).

Many commentators see his involvement in politics as a hobby. Others say that he is running because he is trying to save one of his companies from a multimillion dollar tax bill that the government says his company owes. He says he is a victim of political persecution, and that he is involved in politics because he wants to save Ecuadoreans from poverty.

His platform focuses on fighting poverty by supporting private industry initiatives. He has been fined for distributing mattresses and food to the neighbourhoods he has visited on the campaign trail. His wife, Annabella Azin, is his running mate. Polls show him receiving some 2% support.

Mauricio Rodas

A political analyst and consultant, Mauricio Rodas studied political science in the US and worked in Chile and Mexico.

He returned to Ecuador recently, after 10 years abroad.

Aged 37, he is the youngest candidate and is new to Ecuadorean politics.

His political platform focuses on promoting a responsible government model. Polls show him with 2% support.

Norman Wray

A former member of the ruling Alianza Pais party, Norman Wray, 43, was elected as a member of the assembly that rewrote the constitution in 2008 and also worked as city councillor in Quito.

He left Mr Correa's party after a 2011 referendum on changing the country's judicial system, which Mr Wray argued was an attempt by the president to concentrate power in his hands.

Mr Wray runs on a platform that includes rights for gay minorities as well as protection of the environment. His party, Ruptura 25, hopes to chip away at Mr Correa's majority in the assembly. Polls show him receiving around 2% of votes.

Nelson Zavala

An evangelical pastor, Nelson Zavala, 52, is running for the Ecuadorean Roldosist Party (PRE) of former President Abdala Bucaram. Mr Bucaram, who ruled Ecuador for six months and has lived in Panama since receiving political asylum in 1997, tried to run in this election but his candidacy was not accepted.

Mr Zavala says he would rewrite the constitution according to the Ten Commandments. Ecuador's National Electoral Council has started proceedings against him because of his homophobic comments during the campaign.

Analysts say he has the support of PRE voters, but he is not the candidate of choice of evangelicals in the country. Polls show him receiving 1%-3% support.