Depending on how things go in the April 2 presidential runoff election in Ecuador, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may soon be looking for a new home. In 2012 Mr. Assange was granted asylum at Ecuador’s London embassy, where he went to avoid deportation. He is wanted in Sweden for questioning on sexual-assault charges but might eventually be sent to the U.S., where he could face severe penalties for posting classified material on the WikiLeaks website. If former banker and political outsider Guillermo Lasso of the opposition party CREO wins, he has promised to evict Mr. Assange. Should Lenín Moreno—President Rafael Correa’s handpicked candidate—prevail, Mr. Assange’s asylum lodgings are likely safe.
The Assange question may be what brings developed-world interest to this election in a small, struggling Andean nation of 16.5 million people. Yet there are more important reasons to pay attention. Ecuadoreans have a chance to throw off the yoke of populist authoritarianism that Mr. Correa and his PAIS Alliance party have imposed since he took office in 2007. The outcome will have implications for the wider struggle against tyranny in the region.
In Brazil, Argentina and Peru, where democratic institutions have held up, antidemocratic demagogues have been turned out of office in recent years. But it’s too late for Venezuela and Bolivia, both of which are now full-blown dictatorships.
Full Article: Julian Assange and Ecuador’s Election – WSJ.