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Ecuador Election Officials Confirm Presidential Runoff

Election officials in Ecuador have confirmed that billionaire banana magnate Alvaro Noboa will face leftist economist Rafael Correa in next month's presidential runoff vote.

With nearly all ballots counted from the October 15 elections, Noboa was the top vote-getter in the field of 14 candidates, earning nearly 27 percent of the vote. Correa came in second place with nearly 23 percent of all votes casts.

Under Ecuadorean law, candidates need more than half of the vote to win the presidency outright, or 40 percent of the vote with a 10 percentage point advantage over other candidates.

Noboa has promised to forge an alliance with the United States. He has referred to Correa, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, as a communist. Correa says he will end free-trade negotiations with the U.S.

No presidential candidate has won outright in Ecuador since the runoff election system was implemented in 1979. Ecuadoreans have ousted three presidents in the last decade through street protests.

The runoff election is scheduled for November 26.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.