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Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado born (April 6, 1963) is the President of the Republic of Ecuador and was the president pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations. An economist educated in Ecuador, Belgium and the United States, he was elected President in late 2006 and took office in January 2007. In December 2008, he declared a portion of Ecuador's national debt illegitimate, based on the argument that it had been contracted by corrupt/despotic prior regimes. He then pledged to fight creditors in international courts, and succeeded in reducing the price of the debt letters and continued paying all the debt. He brought Ecuador into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas in June 2009.
Correa's first term in office had been due to end on January 15, 2011, but the new approved constitution written by the new National Assembly mandated general elections for April 26, 2009. In that election, Rafael Correa won in the first round with 51.9% of votes counted. It was the first time since 1979 in which a representative was elected without having to face a second round. Consequently, Correa began a new term in office due to end on August 10, 2013, which could be extended by reelection until 2017. To date, Correa's administration has succeeded in reducing high levels of poverty, indigence, and unemployment.