Supporters of Ecuadoran presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso protest outside the National Electoral Council in Quito on April 2, 2017. / AFP / LUIS MARINO
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Leftist government candidate Lenin Moreno claimed victory in Ecuador's presidential vote Sunday, bucking a shift to the right in South America, but the conservative challenger asked for a recount as some supporters took to the streets in protest.The region's de facto leftist leader, President Nicolas Maduro of crisis-hit Venezuela, profusely congratulated Moreno on Twitter, as did Bolivia's President Evo Morales.Lasso, a former banker, had promised to denounce the embattled Maduro, who foes say has lurched his country toward dictatorship.Moreno, a paraplegic former vice-president, had secured 51.1 percent of the votes compared with Lasso's 48.9 percent, with more than 96 percent of votes counted, according to the electoral council. Lasso asked for a recount and vowed to challenge the results, a complex process that could take time."Lenin," as he is commonly referred to by his supporters, celebrated in mountainous Quito Sunday night with the flag-waving crowd chanting, "Lenin President!"
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