(Bloomberg) -- Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso declined to run in upcoming elections after a poll showed him lagging his main rivals. 

“After deep reflection, I would like to tell you that I won’t accept the candidacy for President of the Republic in the August elections,” Lasso told reporters in Quito on Friday.  

The new elections, which are only for the remainder of Lasso’s original term ending May 2025, became necessary after he dissolved the National Assembly last month. 

Lasso, a 67-year-old former banker, is popular with investors but not with the general public. A poll published last week placed the incumbent dead last among the main contenders for the presidency. The poll found that 32.2% of voters would back a yet-to-be-named contender endorsed by socialist former President Rafael Correa. 

Ecuador’s bonds rallied after Lasso was elected in 2021, and he cut the fiscal deficit in a country that has a reputation as a serial defaulter. But that optimism evaporated as political opposition strengthened, and after voters handed him a humiliating defeat in a referendum in February. 

Read more: Socialist Leads Ecuador Presidential Election Race, Poll Finds

A surge in violent crime caused by disputes between cocaine cartels also took a toll on his popularity.

The opposition-controlled congress made two attempts to impeach him. The second attempt appeared poised to succeed when he forestalled it by dissolving congress. 

Lasso can govern by decree until new authorities take office late this year.

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