Daniel Noboa, 35, Wins Ecuador’s Presidential Election

Luisa Gonzales, former president Rafael Correa’s candidate, accepted her defeat. Lasso congratulates Noboa and invites him to an immediate transition


17 de octubre 2023


Businessman Daniel Noboa was proclaimed the winner of Sunday’s runoff presidential elections in Ecuador by defeating Luisa Gonzalez, the choice of former president Rafael Correa. Noboa, 35, thus became the youngest president-elect in the history of Ecuador.

Noboa said that he closes a chapter as a candidate and that tomorrow he starts working for a “new Ecuador.” “From tomorrow, hope begins to work; from tomorrow, Daniel Noboa begins to work, as the new president,” he said after receiving the results announced by the National Electoral Council (CNE).

With 99.28% of votes counted, Noboa received 51.83% of the votes against Gonzalez’s 48.17, reports the National Electoral Council (CNE) on its website.

Noboa will succeed conservative Guillermo Lasso, who cut short his mandate (2021-2025) after invoking last May the so-called “crossed death,” a constitutional figure that allowed him to dissolve the National Assembly, with an opposition majority, and call for special elections.

Lasso used this mechanism just when the legislative was about to vote an impeachment motion against him, in the framework of a political trial of censure in which he was accused of embezzlement (malfeasance), a charge he rejected.

Daniel Noboa speaks to the press after winning the 2023 presidential elections in Olon Province of Santa Elena (Ecuador). Photo: EFE / Mauricio Torres.

Who is Daniel Noboa?

Daniel Noboa is the son of banana magnate Alvaro Noboa and will complete Lasso’s term until May 2025, when he could run for re-election for a new four-year term.

As the heir of the Noboa emporium, however, he will face the challenge of achieving an environment of governability because “correismo” (Correa’s movement) will again be the leading political force in the next legislature, although it will not have the absolute majority of votes in the plenary of the Assembly.

Born on November 30, 1987, Noboa won the presidency in a runoff. His father, Alvaro Noboa, is one of the wealthiest people in the country thanks to his banana emporium and ran unsuccessfully five times.

Noboa reaches the presidency after a brief political career. He was a legislator between 2021 and 2023, and from there, he launched his presidential run. He did not start as a favorite but played the role of “outsider.” He was seen as a new face in politics, and his performance in the electoral debate in the first round catapulted him to the runoff elections.

As a legislator, he was the president of the Economic Development Commission and the object of criticism for having led the organization, amid the war between Russia and Ukraine, of the trip —paid according to him by the private sector— of six assembly members to Russia, one of the leading importers of Ecuadorian bananas, together with the European Union.

Noboa is the eldest of four siblings in a family of weathy entrepreneurs and politicians. Besides the presidential ambitions of his father, his mother, Annabella Azin, a medical doctor, was an assembly member and a candidate for the vice presidency.

The president-elect is also the grandson of Luis Noboa Naranjo, one of the country’s most important businessmen in the XX century and one of the wealthiest men in Ecuador. In his time, he introduced the “Quaker” brand of oatmeal, with which his grandson was humorously nicknamed during the electoral campaign.

Simpatizantes de Daniel Noboa en Ecuador
Supporters of presidential candidate Daniel Noboa celebrate the results from the National Electoral Council in Quito, Ecuador. // Photo: EFE / Santiago Fernandez.

From center-left, with liberal economic approaches

Daniel Noboa is a man of few words, calm and far from confrontation; He assures to be of the center-left, although he has more liberal economic approaches.

Currently, he is expecting the birth of his second child from his marriage to his second wife, nutritionist and “influencer” Lavinia Valbonesi.

He had his first child with his first wife, Gabriela Goldbaum, with whom Noboa has faced divorce problems to the point that he maintains a lawsuit with the Spanish insurance company Mapfre since his ex-wife allegedly had access to his bank data through a worker of this company.

Noboa studied business administration at the Stern School of Business at New York University and continued his career specializing in three master’s degrees: in 2019 in Business and Public Administration at Kellogg School of Management, in 2020 at Harvard University, and in 2022 completed his master’s degree in political communication and governance at George Washington University.

At 18, Noboa founded his first company, “DNA Entertainment Group,” dedicated to organizing events.

There, he gained experience to work years later in the Noboa Corporation of his family, where he was the youngest shipping manager in the company’s history. He was commercial director until June 2018, and his main task was to oversee the global sales strategy for all food products.

A music lover, Noboa does not believe that “hyper-specialization” is viable today, so he also studied physics and marketing.

Lasso congratulated Noboa and invited him to an immediate transition

Ecuador’s President, Guillermo Lasso, congratulated Daniel Noboa, who will replace him in power in December, and invited him to coordinate an immediate transition of power.

“My congratulations for having aspired to serve the Ecuadorians from the highest place a citizen can seek. Today, our country has given you the confidence to lead it, a very high honor on which I wish you the greatest success,” Lasso remarked in a message on social networks.

“It will be a pleasure to receive you on Tuesday at the Carondelet Palace,” government headquarters in Quito, because “from now on, we must begin the transition process for you to learn more about Ecuador’s economic, social and security situation,” added the current president.

“Our democracy becomes stronger” with Noboa’s triumph, concluded Lasso.

Rafael Correa’s movement suffers a foretold defeat

Luisa González
Presidential candidate Luisa Gonzalez, speaks after her defeat at the polls // Photo: Jose Jacome

The political movement led by former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa (2007-2017), suffered this Sunday a painful defeat that was already announced last August 20, when its presidential candidate could not triumph decisively in the first round of voting, setting the stage for a runoff with Daniel Noboa.

The reluctance to formalize alliances with like-minded groups also influenced the result.

Luisa Gonzalez, conceded the electoral defeat and congratulated Daniel Noboa.

“My deepest congratulations because he won democratically,” said Gonzalez in a speech delivered in a hotel in Quito, where the Citizen Revolution Movement, led by Correa, followed the progress of the election.

Ecuadorian elections had an 88.33% voter turnout

More than 13.4 million Ecuadorians were summoned to the polls to elect the successor of the current president, the conservative Guillermo Lasso, and complete the presidential term 2021-2025. The voter turnout was 88.33%.

Elecciones en Ecuador
A Shuar indigenous man casts his vote in Dayuma, in the province of Orellana (Ecuador) // Photo: EFE | Ivan Izurieta.

Lasso had opted to leave office early and force this special electoral process by dissolving the National Assembly, controlled by the opposition led by Correa’s supporters, when it was about to vote on his dismissal as the final step of an impeachment trial where he was accused of alleged embezzlement (malfeasance). A charge that he rejects.

Daniel Noboa will govern a country plunged into a deep crisis of public insecurity and a wave of organized crime violence in which the presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was assassinated, shot at the exit of a rally eleven days before the first round of voting, held on August 20.

Added to this is a delicate economic situation, with a growing deficit due to lower profits from oil exports, one of the main pillars of the Ecuadorian economy.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times.


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Agencia EFE

Agencia de noticias internacional con sede en Madrid, España. Fundada en Burgos durante la guerra civil española en enero de 1939.


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