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Ecuador electoral body formally orders presidential runoff

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa meets with the foreign press in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, after general elections over the weekend.

Dolores Ochoa/AP

Ecuador's electoral commission has formally ruled that a runoff election will be needed to choose a successor for socialist President Rafael Correa.

The body's announcement Wednesday confirms its earlier indication that ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno and conservative former banker Guillermo Lasso will face off in an April 2 vote.

Moreno led the nine-candidate field in Sunday's election with 39.4 per cent of the votes, while Lasso finished second at 28.1 per cent. Moreno fell just short of the 40 per cent threshold needed for an outright victory.

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Correa was first elected president in 2007 and won praise for ushering in stability for Ecuador after a severe economic crisis that saw three presidents driven from office. But he also drew criticism for an authoritarian approach against much of the press, opposition and judiciary.

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