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Ecuador congress names 35-year-old broadcaster as new vice president

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By Reuters

QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuador’s congress on Tuesday named a 35-year-old radio broadcaster and economist as the country’s new vice president, a week after his predecessor resigned amid an investigation into payments she received as a legislator years ago.

Otto Sonnenholzner became the third person to hold the post under President Lenin Moreno, who took office last May.

His predecessor, Maria Vicuna, who had previously been urban development minister, replaced Jorge Glas last year while he was investigated in a corruption scandal centred on Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

“I will always put the national interest above personal interests,” Sonnenholzner said during his swearing-in ceremony, adding he had known Moreno for nine years.

Moreno earned former leftist President Rafael Correa’s endorsement during his campaign, but has since fallen out of Correa’s favour by pursuing market-friendly economic policies.

Lawmakers aligned with Correa voted against Sonnenholzner’s designation, which passed with 94 of the chamber’s 128 votes.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Bernadette Baum)