Assange Taunts Losing Candidate in Ecuador

His place in the embassy appears safe for now
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 4, 2017 2:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is celebrating the results of Ecuador's presidential runoff with a blast at the losing candidate who had pledged to evict him from Ecuador's embassy in London. Before the election, conservative banker Guillermo Lasso had said he would evict Assange within 30 days of taking office. Ruling-party candidate Lenin Moreno, the apparent winner in Sunday's tight race, said he would allow him to stay. Shortly after the results became known, Assange took a jab at Lasso's pledge. "I cordially invite Lasso to leave Ecuador within 30 days (with or without his tax haven millions)," he tweeted, alluding to allegations the banker had stashed money abroad.

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Assange has been holed up at the diplomatic mission since 2012, when President Rafael Correa granted him asylum. His relationship with Correa's government has been rocky and he appears to want to make nice with his new host. On Monday, he posted two secret US diplomatic cables on Moreno that describe the politician in flattering terms. In one from 2007, former US Ambassador Linda Jewell describes Moreno as a bridge builder with "a mature, serene demeanor and a genuine commitment to making a positive difference for his country." Lasso and his supporters have challenged the narrow election result. Thousands of protesters shouting "fraud" gathered in Quito for a second night Monday. (Read more Julian Assange stories.)

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