27 Apr 2009

Correa wins re-election in Ecuador

11:47 am on 27 April 2009

President Rafael Correa of Ecuador has been re-elected by a large margin.

Two exit polls showed he won more than 50% of the vote on Sunday, avoiding a runoff election, despite a flagging economy.

A former missionary, Mr Correa, 46, is inspired by a left-wing strand of Roman Catholic teaching known as Liberation Theology.

Voters were also electing members of the National Assembly and regional and municipal officials.

Voting in Ecuador is mandatory. Polls opened at 0700 (1200 GMT), with some 10 million people entitled to vote

Government figures show poverty has been reduced from 40% to 35% with pensions, free school lunches and a higher minimum wage.

Ecuador is a member of OPEC. Oil accounts for more than 60% of its exports.