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Daniel Noboa was born in the port city of Guayaquil into his billionaire father Alvaro's banana empire.. Image Credit: AFP

Quito: At the age of 35, Ecuador's president-elect Daniel Noboa is fulfilling the political dreams of his banana tycoon father, who failed five times to win the presidency.

With about 52 percent of the vote, based on a near-complete count, little-known businessman Noboa was on Sunday elected the youngest president-elect in modern Ecuadoran history, edging out socialist rival Luisa Gonzalez.

With a serious air, but tanned and sporty, Noboa focused his wooing on younger voters, using social media to campaign.

He became a minor internet celebrity in the run-up to Sunday's election as videos went viral of citizens posing with human-sized cardboard "Noboas" - printed for the campaign - showing up at house parties, riding the bus or lazing on the beach.

Noboa was born in the port city of Guayaquil into his billionaire father Alvaro's banana empire.

He holds a degree in business administration from New York University and three master's degrees from Harvard, Northwestern and George Washington universities.

At the age of 18 he created his own events company before joining the Noboa family business.

Noboa calls himself "center-left" but embraces neoliberal economic thinking. He ran on the ticket of the brand-new National Democratic Action alliance, which incorporates parties from the center and left of the political spectrum.

"He has made such general statements, so vague, that it is very difficult to identify" his political alignment, FLACSO university political analyst Simon Pachano told AFP.

"Rather, he has a technocratic profile."

Noboa has vowed a "firm hand" against drug gangs that have turned Ecuador from one of the region's most peaceful countries into one of its most violent as they have fought an increasingly bloody war for supremacy.

He has promised the "militarization of ports and borders" and to build a society "without impunity, without injustice and without insecurity."

Noboa wants to create offshore prisons on barges to isolate the most violent inmates.

The president-elect has also said he would prioritize job creation through tax incentives and credit facilities to help small businesses, as well as improve public healthcare and education.

Political newcomer

Noboa's only political experience is two years as a lawmaker, serving as chairman of parliament's economics committee.

During this time, he was accused of a conflict of interest for having financed, from his own pocket, a trip for seven MPs to Russia - a key market for his family's banana business - after the invasion of Ukraine.

He was also accused of tax evasion, but was never found guilty of wrongdoing.

Noboa was catapulted into the limelight after he showed up to the only televised debate ahead of the first voting round in August wearing a bulletproof vest, claiming he had received death threats.

The debate came shortly after the assassination in public of anti-graft and anti-cartel candidate Fernando Villavicencio.

Noboa came out of seemingly nowhere to garner the second-largest share of first-round votes behind Gonzalez in August, and again wore a safety vest when he cast his vote on Sunday.

An avid athlete, Noboa gets up at dawn to exercise, according to a profile released by his campaign. He also loves doing impressions of other people.

He is married to nutrition influencer Lavinia Valbonesi and father of two children, with a third on the way.

Noboa has seven dogs.