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February 17, 2013

Exit Polls - Ecuador's Correa Wins Re-election

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa proclaimed victory in Sunday's presidential election, which handed a third term to the socialist leader, after two private exit polls showed him leading by a wide margin.

Official results have not been released.

Mr. Correa hugged jubilant supporters at the presidential palace less than an hour after polls closed Sunday.

One exit poll gave him 61 percent against 20 percent for his closest challenger, former banker Guillermo Lasso, whose showing was the strongest of the seven opposition candidates in the race.

None of the other six candidates won more than five percent. The poll had a margin of 3.7 percentage points.

The 48-year-old Correa was first elected in 2006, and has raised living standards for the lower classes and widened their social safety net with region-leading social spending. But he has been criticized as a bully who is intolerant of dissent.