(CNN Spanish) — Correista candidate Luisa González emerged as the frontrunner in the first round of early elections in Ecuador. This Sunday, González will go head-to-head against Daniel Noboa in the second round.
At 45 years old, González was previously an assembly member for the province of Manabí until the implementation of strict COVID-19 restrictions. She was affiliated with the Citizen Revolution Movement, led by former president Rafael Correa, and had built her political career alongside him.
González holds a law degree from the International University of Ecuador, a master’s degree in Senior Management from the Institute of Higher National Studies, and a master’s degree in International Economics and Development from the Complutense University of Madrid, according to her biography on her website and the National Assembly of Ecuador’s website.
During her career, González served as the national secretary of the Andean Parliament, general secretary of the Quito Companies Administration, national secretary of Public Administration, minister in charge of Labor, and general secretary of the Presidential Office under Rafael Correa.
In the first round, González emerged as the favored candidate in the presidential race.
“With so many polls circulating, each with varying results, perhaps the only certainty we had was that Luisa González would advance to the second round. The emergence of Noboa was a surprise,” said political analyst Farith Simón in an interview with CNN.
During a televised presidential debate, González emphasized her plans to strengthen Ecuador’s security forces and intelligence systems. She also advocated for the Judiciary to be reinforced to improve judicial processes. Additionally, González expressed the desire to rebuild a joint intelligence force with Colombia, stating that she has already initiated conversations with European ambassadors of the European Union and the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro.
“The change in the election scenario came after the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio. If this crime had not occurred, we would have won in the first round, despite previous polls not reflecting it that way. I promise to investigate this crime to its very end,” González remarked, discussing the impact of Villavicencio’s murder on the election.
“This is the first time in the history of Ecuador that a woman has obtained such a high percentage in the first round,” González stated after learning the electoral result. In a video posted on her social media accounts, González expressed her gratitude to her supporters and declared a “citizen victory.”
As the second round approaches, González will face Daniel Noboa, who was the unexpected surprise in the election. Analysts like Farith Simón believe that Noboa is a better option for those who oppose Correismo. In this context, Simón suggests that González has limited room for growth.
— With information from Ana María Cañizares and Fernando del Rincón, from CNN en Español, and Tara John and Stefano Pozzebon, from CNN.