Daniel Noboa, the Youngest President in Ecuador’s History

A surprise victory for the 35-year-old businessman

Daniel Noboa, a 35-year-old businessman and heir to a banana fortune, has won the presidential election in Ecuador, becoming the youngest president in the country’s history. He defeated Luisa González, a leftist lawyer and former ally of ex-president Rafael Correa, by a margin of 52.3% to 47.7% in the second round of voting on Sunday.

Noboa, who ran as an independent candidate under the National Democratic Action party, was a surprise entry into the runoff after placing second in the first round in August. He appealed to voters with his calm and unconfrontational style, his promises to create jobs and attract foreign investment, and his hard-line proposals to tackle the rising violence and drug trafficking in the country.

A short but challenging term ahead

Noboa will be sworn in as president on November 25, five days before his 36th birthdayHowever, he will only have 17 months in office until the next election in May 2025, due to the fact that the current election was triggered early when outgoing President Guillermo Lasso dissolved parliament amid an impeachment trial and called for snap presidential and legislative elections.

Noboa will face several challenges during his short but crucial term, such as reviving the economy hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, restoring public trust in institutions marred by corruption scandals, and dealing with the security crisis caused by the presence of drug gangs and armed groups along the borders with Colombia and Peru.

A historic moment for Ecuador

Noboa’s victory marks a historic moment for Ecuador, as he becomes the youngest president ever elected in the country and breaks the legacy of his father Álvaro Noboa, who ran unsuccessfully for the presidency five timesHe also represents a change from the polarized politics of the past decade, which saw a confrontation between the supporters and opponents of Correa, who governed from 2007 to 2017 and is currently living in exile in Belgium facing corruption charges.

Noboa has pledged to work for all Ecuadorians and to rebuild a country “seriously battered by violence, by corruption and by hate”He has also received congratulations from regional leaders such as Colombia’s Iván Duque, Peru’s Pedro Castillo, and Chile’s Sebastián PiñeraHe has also expressed his willingness to cooperate with the United States and other international partners on issues of mutual interest.

A successful entrepreneur and philanthropist

Noboa is not only a politician, but also a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. He started his own company, DNA Entertainment Group, when he was 18 years old, dedicated to organizing events. He then joined his father’s Noboa Corporation, one of the largest banana exporters in the world, where he held management positions in the shipping, logistics and commercial areasHe is widely seen as an heir to his father’s company and fortune.

Noboa is also involved in various social and environmental causes. He founded the Noboa Foundation, which supports education, health and culture projects for low-income communities in Ecuador. He also launched the Green Ecuador initiative, which aims to plant one million trees across the country to combat deforestation and climate change.

A newcomer to politics

Noboa’s political career began in 2021, when he got a seat in the National Assembly, representing Santa Elena province, for the United Ecuadorian political movementHe chaired the Economic Development Commission and advocated for policies to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and foreign trade.

In May 2023, Noboa announced his candidacy for president in the 2023 snap election, running under the National Democratic Action ticket. He presented himself as an independent and moderate option, distancing himself from both the left-wing populism of Correa and the right-wing conservatism of LassoHe also promised to bring a new generation of leaders to power and to end the political polarization that has divided the country for years.

Noboa surprised many observers by advancing to the run-off election in October, after placing second in the first round in August. He gained support from young voters, urban middle classes and rural sectors that were dissatisfied with the traditional parties and candidatesHe also formed alliances with other political forces, such as the Indigenous party Pachakutik and the Social Christian Party.

In the second round, Noboa faced Luisa González, a former ally of Correa who represented the Union for Hope coalition. The campaign was marked by fierce debates on issues such as security, corruption, economy and foreign policy. Noboa managed to win over more voters with his proposals to create jobs, attract investment, fight crime and strengthen democracyHe also benefited from a higher turnout and a lower percentage of null votes than in the first round.

Noboa celebrated his victory with his supporters in Quito on Sunday night. He thanked them for their trust and said that he would work for all Ecuadorians regardless of their political affiliation. He also called for unity and dialogue among all sectors of society to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.