A former presidential candidate in Ecuador has been fined around £2,014 for making homophobic comments.

Nelson Zavala polled just 1.23% of the vote in February’s elections in the country.

He came last out of eight candidates and President Rafael Correa was re-elected for a third term with nearly 60% of the vote.

A court heard Mr Zavala, an evangelical preacher, made a series of public anti-gay statements which breached Ecuador’s electoral code.

The BBC reports he said gay people could be “cured”, were “immoral” and suffering from “severe deviation of conduct”.

Judge Patricia Baca Mancheno found Mr Zavala violated the electoral code, which “forbids candidates of publicly expressing any thoughts that discriminate or affect other people’s dignity or utilise symbols, expressions or allusions of a religious nature.”

The ruling bars Mr Zavala from standing as a candidate, affiliating himself or being involved with a political party or movement

At the hearing, the preacher said his opinions were aimed at the country’s constitution, which “destroys the true Ecuadorian family” by allowing same-sex marriage.

Article 67 of the Ecuadorian Constitution limits marriage to the union of a man and a woman.

However, according to an unofficial English language translation of Article 68, adopted in 2009, the article provides that same-sex couples in stable and monogamous unions enjoy the same rights and obligations of married couples.