Ecuador will elect a new president April 2, and poll results are not looking good for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
According to a Feb. 23-24 survey of 2,834 Ecuadorans by the Cedatos polling agency, right-wing challenger Guillermo Lasso is leading the ruling party candidate, Lenin Moreno, by a margin of 52 to 48 percent.
Lasso has pledged to evict Assange from Ecuador’s embassy in London within 30 days if he is elected.
Assange has lived at the embassy since 2012 under the protection of Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa, but Correa is ineligible to run for a third term. The WikiLeaks founder has lived in a small converted office at the embassy during that time, and if he is forced to leave, he would be subject to arrest as soon as he steps on the sidewalk.
Assange faces rape charges in Sweden, but Correa extended diplomatic protection to him on the grounds that he would face “political persecution” if extradited to the United States, as he fears.
Moreno, the candidate of Correa’s Alianza Pais party, won 39 percent of the ballots during the first round of presidential voting Feb. 19, falling just short of the victory margin that would have allowed him to avoid a runoff.
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Featured image courtesy of AFP.
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