Ecuador sets presidential vote for February 2017

Quito (AFP) - Ecuador will hold presidential polls a year from now in February 2017, electoral authorities said Thursday, but leftist President Rafael Correa will not run for re-election to lead the slowing South American economy.

"The first round of the election will be on Sunday February 19, 2017," with a run-off vote if necessary on April 2, said Diego Tello, a senior official in the National Electoral Council.

Voters will be called to elect a president and vice-president as well as 137 deputies to the National Assembly legislature, currently controlled by Correa's side.

In power since 2007, the socialist Correa, 52, is barred from running in next year's election. But the assembly in December passed a constitutional amendment that could allow him to become a candidate again in 2021.

In next year's vote his Alianza Pais group must choose another candidate to defend the government's record in an economic climate that has worsened due to falling oil prices.