South America

Assange’s Ecuador asylum appears safe

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could soon be booted from the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Picture: AFP/Ben Stansall

THE immediate future of Australian citizen Julian Assange appeared to be safe in Ecuador where the hand-picked candidate of socialist President Rafael Correa was headed to victory in the opening round of Ecuador’s presidential election.

With nearly 82 percent of the ballots counted, Moreno had just under 39 percent of the vote, with nearly 29 percent going to his conservative rival Guillermo Lasso, figures published by the National Electoral Council showed.

To avoid a runoff, Moreno needed to win a majority of the total vote, or get 40 percent while holding a 10-point lead over his nearest rival. Given the tight race, electoral authorities decided against announcing a quick count of results and instead appealed for patience as official results came in. But a count of statistically representative tally sheets nationwide by a respected private group said would Moreno f…

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