UPDATE 8-Ecuador's Correa cruises to re-election victory

Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:07pm EST
 
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* 49-year-old Correa considered a hero among the poor

* Critics say he is power-obsessed, has quelled media

* Leftist has alienated bond holders, oil companies

* Ecuador needs investors to diversify oil-dependent economy

By Brian Ellsworth and Eduardo Garcia

QUITO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa swept to a re-election victory on Sunday that allows him to strengthen state control over the OPEC nation's economy and gives a timely boost to Latin America's alliance of socialist leaders.

The charismatic leftist had 57 percent support compared with 24 percent for runner-up Guillermo Lasso, with almost 40 percent of votes counted. The electoral authority said it did not expect the results to change significantly.

"Nobody can stop this revolution," a jubilant Correa told supporters from the balcony of the presidential palace, after claiming victory.

"The colonial powers are not in charge anymore. You can be sure that in this revolution it's Ecuadoreans in control."   Continued...