Socialist frontrunner to face conservative ex-banker in Ecuador runoff

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Left-wing economist Andres Arauz will face conservative former banker Guillermo Lasso in the second round of Ecuador's presidential election on April 11, the country's electoral commission announced Sunday.

Arauz, the 36-year-old protege of former socialist president Rafael Correa, won the first round with 32.72 percent of the vote.

Lasso got 19.74 percent, beating left-wing indigenous leader Yaku Perez who got 19.39 percent, according to the final results of the February 7 poll announced by electoral commission secretary Santiago Vallejo.

The results were approved by four out of the five members of the electoral body at a meeting that lasted into the early hours of Sunday morning.

Perez, a 51-year-old environmental lawyer, had formally submitted a request for a recount in 17 of the country's 24 provinces, which was suspended on Wednesday.

He has alleged there was fraud to keep him out of the run-off after he was narrowly displaced by Lasso from second to third place in the middle of the count.

"Today democracy has triumphed, we are going with courage and optimism to this second round," Lasso said in a statement following the announcement.

Incumbent President Lenin Moreno's term in office ends on May 24.