After an election marked by uncertainty and tragedy in which eight political leaders were killed, including one of the favorite candidates, Fernando Villavicencio, the businessman Daniel Noboa became the new president of Ecuador. At the age of 36, he will be the youngest president in the history of the South American country.
“Today we won!”Noboa predictably raised his fist after voting in Olón (southwest), the town where he lives. In this way, he will govern Ecuador for almost 17 months, until the end of the term of President Guillermo Lasso on the right, who dissolved the Congress and called early elections to avoid the removal of a political trial for corruption. In that sense, experts consider that the new mandate is a kind of pre-campaign for the four-year elections in 2025.
The National Electoral Council (CNE) indicated that participation was close to 82.33% of the 13.4 million Ecuadorians called to exercise the mandatory vote. Candidates voted with bulletproof vests, guards with rifles, and a unanimous cry: to stop the violence in the country of 16.9 million inhabitants.
Daniel Noboa: “We have to change because Ecuadorians don’t eat stories anymore.”
Born on November 30, 1987, in the city of Guayaquil, Noboa is known as the son of one of the richest people in the country, who amassed wealth from the sale of bananas and boats. His father, Álvaro Noboa Pontón, unsuccessfully sought the presidency five times and, in 2006, lost to Correa, his staunch opponent. He reached the runoff three times.
“You are with me; now I am with you to achieve the deserved victory,” Noboa wrote to his eldest son, who is a child with “drive”, a “responsible” teenager, and has become a “successful” young man. After receiving his father’s blessing, the businessman replied, “God has given us strength to work for the country. It’s in our blood; our only passion is to serve”.
The businessman is studying business administration at the New York University Stern School of Business and earned a degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. Married with two children, he also holds a master’s degree in governance and political communication from George Washington University.
The electoral surprise is new. Almost unknown in politics, except for the position of deputy in the dissolved Assembly, where he headed the Economic Development Commission, he rose quietly until he entered the runoff with a tough speech on crime. In that sense, in the first electoral round on August 20, it got 23% of the votes supported by the right-wing forces, although it defines itself as center-left.
The presidential debate in the first round, where he appeared with a bulletproof vest saying death threats, rejected his candidacy. A few days ago, former candidate Fernando Villavicencio was shot dead. Since then, the future president has concentrated on winning votes on social networks. A few days before the election, he was trending on networks like X (then Twitter) and TikTok thanks to videos made with dozens of cardboard dolls with his life-size image.
Serious and understated, The young man left behind his father’s histrionics during the campaign and asked for votes on his knees and with a Bible in his hand. “People are excited, people are inspired, people want something new,” declared Noboa, who presented himself as a figure of change against González, who based his proselytization of the achievements of the Correa government.
During his campaign, Noboa announced plans to promote a popular consultation to implement a jury system for corruption cases, which, along with drug trafficking, is one of the main problems in the country. He also proposed the militarization of borders and the transfer of the most violent inmates to prison ships.
Clear in his explanations and avoiding confrontations, he proposed job creation, tax incentives, and credit facilities for small and medium businesses. He’s already said he’s open to receiving support from other Correa rivals: “If there are people who want to participate in that project with great pleasure,”