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QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — In a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Ecuador's capital, the sleek glass-and-steel Docente Calderon public hospital rises above a frenzy of cinder block homes. Inside, patients who used to have to travel an hour to the nearest hospital and wait in line all day for sub-par treatment now get state-of-the-art care.
"It used to be you almost had to beg to get attention. Now they take very good care of me," said William Rezabala, who was undergoing dialysis in a sparkling-clean specialist ward whose serenity is interrupted only by the beep-beep-beep of medical equipment.
Hospital - Jewels - Infrastructure - Buildup - President
The hospital, inaugurated in 2015, is one of the crown jewels of an infrastructure buildup that has endeared President Rafael Correa to millions of poor people in this Andean nation. Now, as his presidency comes to an end, Ecuadoreans are asking what will come of the economic and political stability they've come to cherish, especially in light of a deep recession.
For the first time in a decade, Correa won't be running when Ecuadoreans go to the polls Sunday to pick a president. Although congress in 2015 approved a constitutional amendment lifting presidential term limits, the leftist leader rejected calls by supporters to run for a fourth time.
Country - Works - Hopes - Torch - Citizens
Instead, he has been feverishly crisscrossing the country inaugurating public works with the hopes of handing the torch of his "Citizens' Revolution" to his preferred successor, former Vice President Lenin Moreno. Polls say Moreno is leading the field of eight candidates with support ranging from 28 percent to 32 percent, but likely lacking a big enough edge to avoid a runoff election against his nearest challenger, currently Guillermo Lasso, a conservative former banker. To avoid a runoff a candidate needs to win more than half of the votes or 40 percent with a 10-point lead over his...
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