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Ecuador ex-President Correa’s party names Luisa Gonzalez as presidential candidate

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QUITO (Reuters) – The political party of Ecuador’s ex-President Rafael Correa on Saturday named former lawmaker Luisa Gonzalez as its candidate for presidential elections in August.

Ecuadoreans go to the polls on Aug. 20 to elect a successor to President Guillermo Lasso – who is not running – and choose the 137 members of the country’s National Assembly.

Lasso, a conservative former banker, dissolved the legislature in mid-May under a constitutional quirk known as “two-way death” amid an impeachment process that was pushed by lawmakers from Correa’s party, Citizen Revolution.

The measure brought forward elections planned for 2025. The president and lawmakers will sit until 2025, when elections will be held again.

Gonzalez is a lawyer, held positions in the public sector between 2016 and 2017 in the Correa government and was a federal lawmaker for the province of Manabi.

Gonzalez’s vice presidential candidate will be Andres Arauz.

Arauz, a 38-year-old economist, ran against Lasso in Ecuador’s 2021 elections. While he was unsuccessful, Citizen Revolution won 47 seats in the National Assembly and secured a majority alongside allied parties to oppose Lasso’s government.

“We are going to recover the homeland, we are going to recover the dignity of the Ecuadorean people,” Gonzalez told supporters in the coastal city of Portoviejo.

Correa, a leftist who led Ecuador from 2007 to 2017 and has lived in Belgium since he left power, told Reuters that his party would re-build the country and tackle insecurity in the country if victorious.

A court in Ecuador sentenced Correa to eight years in prison in 2020 over accusations he broke campaign finance laws, which he denies, describing the case against him as political persecution.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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