A file photo of Andrea Gonzalez Nader, who was the running mate of assassinated Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. Their Construye party said on 12 August 2023 that Gonzalez Nader will step in as Villavicencio's replacement. EFE/ Santiago Fernandez/File

Running mate of slain Ecuador presidential candidate to contest election

Quito, Aug 12 (EFE).- The running mate of assassinated Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio will step in to contest the election in his place, their center-right Construye political party said Saturday.

Provided the National Electoral Council approves that change, Andrea Gonzalez Nader will participate in a debate scheduled for Sunday, a week prior to the first round of balloting.

Villavicencio had previously indicated that in the event of his absence Gonzalez Nader was his desired replacement, Construye said in a statement signed by its national secretary, Raul Gonzalez.

Villavicencio was shot and killed in Quito on Wednesday after a political rally at a school. Six alleged perpetrators of the crime – all of them Colombian – have been arrested thus far.

A seventh individual, also Colombian, was killed in a shootout between the attackers and Villavicencio’s security detail.

Nine other people were wounded in the attack, five of whom are reportedly hospitalized in stable condition.

Gonzalez Nader would be one of two women among the field of eight candidates vying to succeed President Guillermo Lasso, who in May dissolved the opposition-led parliament amid an impeachment trial and called a snap general election.

The other woman running for president is former National Assembly lawmaker Luisa Gonzalez, candidate of the Citizen Revolution Movement headed by leftist ex-President Rafael Correa.

Lasso is not running in the snap election.

Those elected will serve out the remainder of the current 2021-2025 presidential and legislative terms. EFE