The party of assassinated Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio has chosen a friend and close associate of his, Christian Zurita, to run in the nation’s convulsed elections.
(Bloomberg) — The party of assassinated Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio has chosen a friend and close associate of his, Christian Zurita, to run in the nation’s convulsed elections.
Zurita, 53, is an investigative reporter from Quito who, like Villavicencio, has written extensively on domestic corruption. Zurita is the second candidate put forward by the centrist Contruye party since Villavicencio was assassinated on Wednesday.
He will campaign on an anti-crime agenda that he helped Villavicencio write, Zurita said at a press conference at a hotel in Ecuador’s capital, flanked by vice-presidential candidate Andrea Gonzalez, an environmental activist. Both wore police-issued bullet proof vests.
The campaign has asked the National Electoral Council several legal questions including about Zurita’s participation in the presidential debate on Sunday, so far without a response, Gonzalez said.
Villavicencio was gunned down as he left a campaign event at a school in north-central Quito amid spiraling political violence. Six suspects, all Colombian, were arrested following the attack, while the injured alleged gunman bled to death in custody.
Read more: What a Candidate’s Assassination Means for Ecuador: QuickTake
The snap elections were forced by President Guillermo Lasso’s decision to shut down Ecuador’s congress, which was attempting to impeach him.
The debate, now among the seven other presidential candidates, is scheduled for 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. EDT) Sunday.
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