Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa is formally beginning his campaign for February's election in which he will seek a third term.

The popular left-leaning leader had been widely expected to run again, but his re-election bid didn't become official until Saturday.

Correa appeared during a national assembly of his Alianza Pais party in Quito alongside his vice presidential candidate, former strategic sector minister Jorge Glas.

Current Vice President Lenin Moreno declined to be Correa's running mate this time, but issued a statement calling for his re-election.

Correa was first elected president in 2006. He has built a solid base of support by implementing populist programs that have widened Ecuador's social safety net and increased spending on education.