Skip to main content


Centrist businessman Daniel Noboa wins Ecuador's presidency

After winning Sunday's presidential run-off, he will be the youngest president in Ecuador's history

Noboa presidente de Ecuador
Noboa | EFE

October 17, 2023 9:10am

Updated: October 17, 2023 9:11am

As the Ecuadorian presidential runoff elections come to a close with more than 97% of votes counted, 35-year old business minded centrist Daniel Noboa remains in the lead with four percentage points.

Noboa’s presumed victory is an upset over his left-leaning opponent, Luisa González, who was considered the favorite in the election.

To avoid further turmoil in a country that has endured political confusion and a fearsome crime wave, González conceded the election and congratulated Noboa.

Noboa immediately told his South American countrymen “give back a smile and peace to the country.”

Following her loss, González embraced the results and her country, saying, “To those who didn't vote for us, I congratulate you because your candidate won, and as Ecuadorians, I embrace them. This is democracy.”

ADN reported on Sunday as Ecuadoreans continued to report to the polls that the runoff election was overshadowed by a crime wave.

One of the former candidates, Fernando Villavicencio was assassinated by gunmen in public just days before voting started in August.

The country’s murder rate skyrocketed between 2018 and 2022, quadrupling, potentially giving Noboa, an edge as voters expressed concerns about violence.

In his victory speech, Noboa was shielded by armed security and pledged his election to office would be a new beginning.

“Tomorrow we will start working for a new Ecuador, to reconstruct a country battered by violence, by corruption and hate,” he said to his countrymen.

One of Noboa’s challenges is that since his term is an interim term he will have only a year and a half to achieve his objectives.

The presidential runoff election came in the wake of President Guillermo Lasso stepping down and dissolving parliament as part of a maneuver to invoke special powers needed to combat crime.

For now however, Noboa will finish the term started by Lasso, which is scheduled to terminate in May 2025.

He will then be eligible to run for a second term.

Noboa supporters celebrated his victory by coming out to the streets.

“We need new blood and not the old politics that have done us so much harm,” a 23-year-old student told Reuters. “Our president should waste no time and work very hard to put the brakes on insecurity.”

As part of his campaign, Noboa pledged to go to war against Ecuadorian gangs, many of which have consolidated power within the prison system.

One idea Noboa has floated is to relocate many of the toughest gang members and leaders in prison ships of the country’s coast.

He has also expressed concerns about escalating border security to halt drug traffickers who have coming into the country from Colombia and Peru.

Those South American countries have had the highest volume of cocaine trafficking in the region.

On the economic front, Noboa, a 25-year old businessman and graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School has promised to increase job opportunities.

He is no stranger to business as the son and heir of banana magnate Álvaro Noboa, who unsuccessfully ran for president five times.

Noboa’s victory is seen as a shift toward the center and maybe even the right. His opponent, 45-year old lawyer Luisa González was viewed as the protege of former President Rafael Correa and the left wing Citizen Revolution Movement.

Correa ran Ecuador for a decade from 2007 to 2017, but has since been prosecuted and convicted for election interference. He is currently living in exile in Belgium.