QUITO, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador is set to hold general elections on Sunday. The following are some key facts about the elections.
According to the National Electoral Council, 11,666,478 Ecuadorans, out of a total population of 14,483,499, are registered to vote in the elections to select the country's president, 137 National Assembly members and five representatives to the regional Andean Parliament.
Voting is set to start at 7:00 a.m. local time (1200 GMT) and end at 5:00 p.m. (2200 GMT), with about 40,390 polling stations set up across the country and abroad. Preliminary results for the presidential race are expected late on Sunday.
According to Ecuador's law, a candidate should garner at least 40 percent of the vote, with a 10-point advantage over the next closest rival, to be declared the winner, otherwise the two top contenders have to go on to a run-off.
Eight candidates are competing for the presidency this year, with the latest opinion polls showing that incumbent President Rafael Correa enjoyed a comfortable lead with at least 50 percent of voters' support, which may make a second round unnecessary.
His main rivals include former banker Guillermo Lasso, who ranked second with 20.6 percent of voters' support in the opinion polls, followed by ex-president Lucio Gutierrez with a 5.8-percent support.
About 300 international observers from the Organization of American States, the Union of South American Countries (Unasur) and the Andean Parliament, among other groups, will be monitoring the elections.
Ecuadorans aged above 18 are eligible to vote. Some 285,753 Ecuadoran nationals living abroad will be able to cast their ballots at 690 polling stations set up in consulates.
Ecuador has a unicameral legislative body, with deputies elected to four-year terms.
Ecuador is a major banana exporter in the world, but oil is its leading foreign revenue earner.