As President Rafael Correa easily wins re-election over his opposition in the polls in Ecuador on Monday, he reiterates his demands for a diplomatic solution regarding Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder.
Digital Journal reported on Correa's success at the polls, giving him an easy win over his opponents and offering him his third-term as President of Ecuador.
In the wake of celebrations of his re-election, Correa is calling on Europe to now settle the fate of WikiLeaks founder, Assange, who has now been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for eight months.
Shortly after declaring victory in the elections, Correa told the media, "It's a diplomatic situation for which a solution must be found ... as quickly as possible," stressing that Assange's fate lies "in Europe's hands".
Assange entered Ecuador's embassy in London in June 2012 after losing his appeal against extradition to Sweden for questioning on alleged sex charges, which he denies.. Concerned that Sweden might send him on to the USA to face espionage charges, relating to diplomatic cables and other documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which have angered and embarrassed the US government, Assange applied for, and received asylum in Ecuador.
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks.
Ecuador offered to allow Swedish officials to interview Assange at their embassy in London, and later even offered to transport him to their Stockholm Embassy for an interview, if this could be done safely under their protection. Stockholm did not respond to either offer.
On top of this, the British government has so far refused to grant Assange safe passage, saying that they are obliged to send the WikiLeaks founder to Stockholm.
Correa said that by helping Assange, Ecuador "did what it had to do in the framework of its sovereignty", and he is urging European courts to take up the matter.
Reiterating Quito's demands, which include safe passage, or alternatively questioning of Assange by a Swedish judicial official in London, Correa stressed, "There can't be a problem due to asylum, it's neocolonialism."
With just over a third of the ballots counted, the results of the polls gave Correa a huge 56.7% of the vote, and a roughly 30-point lead over his closest rival, banker Guillermo Lasso. The Organization of American States and the Union of South American Nations have been monitoring the transparency in Ecuador’s elections.