QUITO, ECUADOR, FEB. 1 -- Unofficial results in yesterday's presidential election showed today that two left-leaning candidates won berths in a May 8 runoff to elect a successor to President Leon Febres Cordero, a conservative businessman with strong ties to the United States.
Voters rejected the presidential candidate from Febres Cordero's ruling Social Christian Party and gave solid control of the 71-seat Congress to center-left and leftist parties. The winning candidates, Rodrigo Borja, 52, of the Democratic Left Party, and populist ex-mayor Abdala Bucaram, 35, both have pledged to distance Ecuador from Washington, renew severed diplomatic ties with Nicaragua and take a harder line on terms for paying Ecuador's $9.2 billion foreign debt.
Bucaram, a former mayor of the port of Guayaquil, fled into exile in Panama in 1985 after accusing the armed forces of spending too much time at parades. He returned in August. Political opponents and foreign observers questioned whether the armed forces would permit Bucaram to assume office were he to win the runoff.
Borja obtained 20.4 percent of all ballots cast, Bucaram 15.3 percent, and Social Christian Sixto Duran Ballen 12.6 percent, unofficial results showed. The rest of the votes were distributed among seven other candidates.