Lenin Moreno’s inauguration as President of Ecuador took place at the national assembly, through a ceremony through an important extent marked by the salience of exiting president Rafael Correa’s participation. After a pause while Correa abandoned the building in the middle of farewell honors, the new president delivered a speech that repeatedly emphasized the need for respect, tolerance, and dialogue. “I am everybody’s president, I owe everyone, I respect everyone,” he said.
When Ecuador held an election to choose their next president in mid-February, candidate Lenín Moreno had a clear advantage over the seven other contenders, with over 10% more of the vote than the runner-up, Guillermo Lasso. But when Moreno’s final share of the vote, at 39.36%, came up just short of the 40% needed to win, it became clear that a runoff election would be needed. Suddenly a victory by Moreno was not such a sure thing, and polls started to point to a possible triumph by rival Lasso.