Wikileaks head Julian Assange's fate is now in the hands of the Ecuadorian people, as the two presidential candidates have very different views regarding Assange's asylum.
After neither of the two frontrunners in the election received the 40% of votes required to become president, a runoff was scheduled for April. The two candidates who will participate are left-wing Lenin Moreno and right-wing Guillermo Lasso.
Lasso was the most significant threat to Assange's safety. During the election, he has said that if he won, he would kick Assange out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London within 30 days.
If Assange is kicked out of the embassy, he will immediately be captured and then extradited to Sweden. From there, it's likely that Assange will be extradited again -- this time to the United States, where he would face charges for the Wikileaks releases.
Given the results of the first round of the election, however, it is unlikely that Lasso will win. Instead, it is expected that the frontrunner, Lenin Moreno (who was vice president) will win. Moreno will likely continue most of the current government policies.
Unforunately for Assange, he's not totally out of the woods. Moreno is also not fully supportive of Assange. Although he is willing to continue the asylum agreement, he expects Assange to stop publishing secrets. He said the following in reference to the fact that Assange published secrets of the United States (Ecuador's ally):
We granted Assange political asylum because his life was in danger. We don't have the death penalty in Ecuador...If you invite me to your place, I shouldn't say bad things about your friends. If you give me shelter and I enjoy your hospitality, I should also show you respect
Moreno went further, putting a condition on Assange's asylum:
And one of the conditions will be to not meddle into the policies of the countries we are friends with. The same as we do not meddle in their policies. Every country has the right to self-determination and sovereignty
Moreno has suggested that if Assange and Wikileaks don't cease publication, the asylum will be revoked.
Regardless of who wins in the upcoming runoff, Wikileaks is bound to face some major challenges in the near future. Without Assange, it's unclear if the organization can or will keep publishing.
There are also many open questions. For example, if Wikileaks does continue to publish without Assange's help, will Ecuador allow him to remain in the embassy? And is Assange even willing to stop being involved in Wikileaks?
We will find out in the near future.
Wanna read more on this? Check these out: RIP Wikileaks? Ecuador Elections Could Mean The End For Julian Assange (more); Wikileaks Julian Assange Resurfaces on Twitter - Could #Vault7 be Imminent? (more); Wikileaks #Vault7: Everything Known About The Secret Vault 7 Project (more); Wikileaks' 'Sudden Death' Message Sparks Murder Questions (more).
And here are some more related articles: New Wikileaks Docs: Targeting US Person 'Nothing To Worry About' (more); Wikileaks Proves Julian Assange Is Alive, Contradicts Alex Jones, Drudge (more); Is Julian Assange Alive? The Wikileaks Mystery Deepens (more).