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Ecuador's Correa declares victory in presidential poll

Published on Feb 18, 2013 7:18 AM

QUITO (AFP) - President Rafael Correa declared victory in the first-round of Ecuador's presidential vote on Sunday as he celebrated with thousands of supporters in the capital of the South American country.

"We are here to serve you," Mr Correa told a crowd from the balcony of the presidential palace in Quito. "Nothing for us, everything for you: the people who deserve the right to be free."

His announcement came shortly after polls closed in an election he had been widely expected to win. Exit polls gave him about 60 per cent of the vote - and a roughly 40-point lead over his nearest rival, banker Guillermo Lasso.

To avoid a second round, Mr Correa needed to win either 50 per cent of the valid vote or 40 per cent with a 10 point lead over the nearest contender.

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