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Ecuador votes in crucial general elections

Ecuador has voted in general elections that could see the country move from the left to the right like several other South American countries in recent months.

Voters cast their ballots on Sunday for 137 members of the national assembly and a new president, choosing between a candidate who intends to continue President Rafael Correa’s platform or one of several more conservative contenders who pledge to attack corruption and cut taxes.

The polls were due to close at 22:00 GMT and the results were expected to start coming in shortly afterwards.

The outcome will be watched closely in Latin America.

Conservative leaders in Argentina, Brazil and Peru have assumed power in the past 18 months after the end of a commodities boom that boosted leftists such as Correa.

Outside the region, much of the interest in the election focuses on what the outcome will mean for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his ability to remain at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Lenin Moreno, the ruling party candidate, who is Correa’s hand-picked successor, has indicated he would back Assange’s continued stay.

But his main challenger, former banker Guillermo Lasso, has indicated in interviews that he would evict the Australian activist within 30 days of taking office.

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