Ecuador president poised for re-election

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa gives a thumbs up Ecuador's President Rafael Correa gives a thumbs up to supporters as he stands on a balcony at the government palace in Quito, Ecuador. Feb. 16, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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QUITO, Ecuador -- Rafael Correa won his third term as president as opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso conceded last night.

Partial official results showed Correa with 56.7 percent of the vote, compared with Lasso's 24 percent.

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Correa had promised to boost spending on the poor amid the worst budget deficit on record.

Lasso, the former chief executive of the South American nation's second-biggest publicly held bank, Banco de Guayaquil SA, congratulated Correa just minutes after the results were released.

Correa begins a new term with few options to finance his campaign pledges as stagnant oil prices and slumping growth limit funds to boost outlays on popular social welfare programs.

The self-described socialist revolutionary, who dubbed foreign bondholders "true monsters" when he defaulted on $3.2 billion of debt in 2008, may now return to overseas credit markets to take advantage of a record rally in high-yield debt to help fund spending needed to sustain an economic expansion.

-- Combined news services

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