With a resounding victory over his rival, Rafael Correa was elected president of the Republic of Ecuador in the elections on November 26, 2006.
According to the official data of the High Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Correa received 58% of the votes, against 41% received by his rival and the country's wealthiest man, Álvaro Noboa. In some provinces the result was 3 to 1 in favour of Rafael Correa. In Azuay, 75% of the population voted for Correa. In Pichincha the results are similar. Correa got the majority of the votes in 19 out of the country's 22 provinces.
The figures given by the TSE confirm the results of exit polls carried out by polling companies Cedatos- Gallup, Market and B&B, which were published by the major TV channels on Sunday, November 26 at 5 pm.
For its part the Organisation of American States has also confirmed the victory of Rafael Correa. Despite all this, Alvaro Noboa has refused so far to recognise the victory of his opponent.
In the days prior to the election, Noboa declared that he would win with a wide margin against the candidate of the Movement of Alliance Country, Correa. However, in his last speeches Noboa begged the people to vote for him to the extent that in the closing rally of his campaign, in an historic gesture, he kneeled down and with tears in his eyes asked the Ecuadorians to vote for him. The polls, which initially favoured him in the second round, progressively showed how his candidacy was losing support, while Correa's was rapidly gaining grown, which explains the behaviour of the banana magnate in the last days of the campaign.
The pro-oligarchy and pro-imperialist project represented by Noboa has suffered a clear defeat. "Neither the millions of dollars, nor the corrupt brown envelopes could buy the dignity of the people" said Rafael Correa, clearly moved, in front of thousands of followers who gathered in the Shyris Avenue, in the capital city of Quito.
Correa reaffirmed his commitment to carry out a popular referendum in order to call a Constituent Assembly. He also said he would not sign the Free Trade Agreement with the US and that he would not renew the agreement for the US military base of Manta. The president elect declared the end of the "neo-liberal night". Correa thanked the youth for their support and appealed to those present to build a country both proud and sovereign. Together with all those present, Correa sang, visibly moved, "Hasta siempre comandante", the song dedicated to Che Guevara, displaying an identification with the principles and values the revolutionary fighter stood for.
The Ecuadorian people have obtained an important victory over the groups which hold economic and political power. However this is just a first step.
The oligarchy will try to use Congress, an institution where right-wing and populist forces have a majority, and where the Movement of Alliance Country has no representatives, to try to boycott any action taken by the new government. The ruling class, clearly irritated by their electoral defeat, will use all means at their disposal to protect their interests.
In the same way US imperialism will attack Correa if he does not satisfy its mandates. Washington does not like the Bolivarian stance of the newly elected president of Ecuador, who has publicly expressed his friendship with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
The masses must be ready against any attempts of the counter-revolution.
If Correa is prepared to carry out the revolutionary transformation of Ecuadorian society, he will have to rely on the support of the masses, which, in the very process of the struggle, will demand the profound and radical change the country needs. The workers, peasants, housewives, students and pensioners will support the new government as long as it fulfils its campaign pledges.
The masses will also have to fight against careerists, bureaucrats and reformists which will try to stop the revolutionary process in its tracks.
The victory of the progressive project led by Rafael Correa will play an important role in lifting up the spirit of struggle of the masses. However, it is necessary to get organised. And at the same time the revolutionary organisations must give themselves a programme which makes clear the urgent need of building a socialist society, since within the limits of capitalism it will not be possible to do anything about the misery and hunger of the people, which they endure as a result of the Ecuadorian oligarchy.
As Che himself pointed out: "Socialist revolution or caricature of revolution".
Quito, November 27, 2006
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