Conservative but above all anti-rheist, Guillermo Lasso wants to regain power for the right in Ecuador after three decades. Defeated by the left twice, this 65-year-old former banker may have his last chance to beat his black beast in politics.
On April 11 the ballot will be measured with Andres Arauz, an economist 29 years his junior. It will be a duel between generations but, above all, the opportunity for Lasso to get revenge from the socialist Rafael Correa, the man who thwarted his jump to the presidency in 2013.
In 2017 he faced Lenín Moreno, then elected by Correa as its successor. Only two points separated him from victory over today’s president. After breaking up with Moreno, Correa promoted the young Arauz (36 years old) as his dolphin.
Lasso “He has become a political figure that, although today he does not represent the opposition to the Moreno regime, he represents or at least has tried to bring together everything that is conceived with anti-Correism” on the right, political scientist Paolo told AFP Moncagatta, from the private San Francisco de Quito University.
Lasso (with 19.74% of the vote) came suffering the ballot. He passed by scraping for almost 33,000 votes against the indigenous leader Yaku Pérez (19.39%), another anti-government but leftist. Arauz won the first round with 32.72%.
Younger of eleven siblings from a middle class family, Lasso he became a successful banker without having a college degree.
His brother Xavier, a 67-year-old journalist and intellectual, is a correista. During the socialist government he was chancellor and representative to the United Nations.
“My brother Guillermo is a very powerful human being, from an economic point of view. For very powerful people, accepting the ‘no’ is very difficult, the ‘no’ is almost like heresy. We were good brothers despite the profound differences, the key was that we did not talk about politics or football because Guillermo does not like football”, Xavier expressed in 2015 to the state newspaper El Telégrafo.
The candidate Lasso has waved the flags against the Chavismo that governs in Venezuela. If you defeat Arauz, will return power to the right after 32 years.
The experienced businessman took advantage of the fight to the death between Correa and Moreno, which divided the left-wing Alianza País movement that led the former.
With the support of powerful economic sectors, Lasso He backed Moreno in a referendum in 2018 that eliminated the indefinite reelection promoted by Correa. Lasso “represents a hope of annihilating Correismo in Ecuador,” emphasizes Moncagatta.
“We will turn the page of 21st century socialism and we will enter a stage of full democracy, of freedom,” says Lasso, a member of Opus Dei and born on November 16, 1955 in Guayaquil (southwest).
This port on the Pacific was one of the first sources of the pandemic in Latin America. His hospital and funeral services eventually collapsed.
Lasso proposes to vaccinate nine million people in his first 100 days of government.
There will be “a change of model that will turn the page to the past of corruption, inefficiency and waste of public resources,” he declared during the campaign.
Lasso wears glasses, combs gray hair, and walks leaning on a cane. He defines himself as “tolerant” and “democratic”, and presents himself as a leader “with the ability and experience to fight corruption, inefficiency in the administration of state resources and promote a broad investment program.”
He prides himself on having worked since he was 15 years old. With a part-time job at the Guayaquil Stock Exchange, he helped his family and financed his last years of high school. He took three semesters of economics before diving into the financial sector.
Lasso founded his own movement, Creando Oportunidades (I believe), but it runs with the support of the Social Christian Party, the late former governor León Febres Cordero (1984-1988) and once the main force on the right.
Between 1989 and 2012 he was vice president, manager and president of the private Banco de Guayaquil, one of the largest in Ecuador. In the public area, he served as governor of the province of Guayas (capital Guayaquil) and secretary of state (superminister) for the Economy in the administration of the ousted former president Jamil Mahuad (1998-2000).
He is married to María de Lourdes Alcívar and has five children.
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