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Mac Margolis

Ecuador's Voters Turn Back Latin America's Pink Tide

A shaky economy and shady politics unsettle a front-runner's chances.
Above board, for now.

Above board, for now.

Photographer: RODRIGO BUENDIA/AFP/Getty Images

In a country where elections rarely bring surprises, the presidential race in Ecuador is turning heads. With votes still being counted from the Feb. 19 balloting, electoral officials announced late Tuesday that pro-government frontrunner Lenin Moreno had fallen shy of winning the contest outright.

So 10 million Ecuadoreans will have a second go at the polls in a runoff April 2. Suddenly, the whiff of competitive democracy in this patch of the Andes, where so-called Bolivarian socialists once called the shots, has voters in a lather. They streamed by the thousands into Quito this week to stand vigil as the National Electoral Council inexplicably drip-fed its tally.