Election Night in Quito, Ecuador / by Marc Cappelletti

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"Ya tenemos un Presidente!  Tenemos a Rafael!"  The song played on for hours tonight in Independence Square in Quito, Ecuador.  And yes, Ecuador already has a president, Rafael Correa, and as of tonight, they have elected him to four more years in office.Quito Ecuador Election RafaelThe crowd of a few hundred were undeterred by a gentle rain as they waved their green flags and cheered for Correa to make an appearance on the balcony of the Carondalet Palace -- the presidential palace which Correa opened to the public in 2007 .Quito Ecuador Election Rafael Independence SquareThey were passionate and excited, hopeful and proud.  And, in contrast to other rallies around the world, they were decidedly sober.  By country law, the imbibing of alcohol is outlawed a day before and even in the 24 hours after voting.  No restaurants will serve it and bottles in bars were locked up or even surrounded by caution tape. Anyone caught drinking or selling alcohol risks arrest.  Oh, and by law, EVERYONE has to vote. Quito Ecuador Election Rafael Correa Independence Square

Quito Ecuador Election Rafael Independence SquareA mere fifty feet away, on the other side of Independence Square, it was a still Sunday night.Quito Ecuador Election Rafael Independence SquareQuito Ecuador Election Rafael Independence Square

At a few minutes past 8pm, Correa addressed the crowd .Quito Ecuador Election Rafael Independence SquareAnd there was much rejoicing...

Quito Ecuador Election Rafael Independence Square