Tuesday, 04 April 2017 06:25

Assange appears safe from eviction, taunts Ecuador poll loser Featured

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WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has thrown barbs at Guillermo Lasso, the losing candidate in Ecuador's runoff elections, who had vowed that he would ask the Australian to leave the country's embassy in London if he were elected.

Shortly before the results became known, Assange posted a message on his Twitter account, asking Lasso to flee the country.

"I cordially invite Lasso to leave Ecuador within 30 days (with or without his tax haven millions)," he wrote, alluding to claims that the conservative banker has money stashed abroad.

The candidate for the ruling PAIS Alliance, Lenín Moreno, is the apparent winner of Sunday's runoff.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, when Ecuador President Rafael Correa granted him asylum. There has been speculation as to what his fate would be if Lasso won the runoff.

On Monday, WikiLeaks posted two US diplomatic cables that portray Moreno in a favourable light.

In one of them, the US ambassador to Ecuador, Linda Jewell, wrote: "Moreno conveys a mature, serene demeanour and a genuine commitment to making a positive difference for his country.

"While not one of Correa's top political advisers, he seems to enjoy good access and to have developed the President's respect.

"We expect him to be a moderating influence on the administration. He will be a useful partner and advocate for many of our development assistance programmes, and he will likely also be a useful and strategic conduit for political messages that may be difficult to deliver directly to Correa."

And Assange posted a positive article  about Correa's leadership, with the note: "Ecuador's outgoing president has objectively led a remarkable counter-neoliberal success story."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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