With more than 80% of the votes cast in the Ecuadorian presidential election, leftist Andrés Arauz, sponsored by ex-president Rafael Correa, holds 32.2% of the vote and goes to the second round with his still undefined opponent.
The CNE (National Electoral Council) decided to stop the count due to a technical link between Guilherme Lasso and Yaku Pérez. It will be necessary to define during the counting vote by vote which will go to the second round with Arauz.
Earlier, two polls had highlighted that Arauz’s rival in the second round was banker Guillermo Lasso. The official screening, however, takes Lasso out of the race and Yaku Pérez enters.
Shortly after the start of the ballot, candidate Guillermo Lasso said he was confident he would go to the second round with Andrés Arauz, asked for calm while awaiting the results and continued to speak out of fear. “The Ecuadorians know what the alternative is but our option, the example of what will happen is here, it is Venezuela.”
He said he will only recognize the results when 100% of the votes are counted. “The Ecuadorian people should not be confused with this kind of hasty announcement from the CNE. We must wait.” Yaku Pérez, for his part, attacked the polling stations at the exit of the polls. “We know they are either linked to the banker (Lasso) or to the refugee in Belgium (Correa). The polls will show that it is us in the second round.” He also said his party’s databases had suffered from hacker attacks, and he asked supporters of his party, Pachakutik, to monitor until the results were released.
The Cedatos Institute projected the victory of Andrés Arauz with 34.94% against 20.99% of Guillermo Lasso. Third, Yaku Pérez, with 17.99%. The Instituto Clima Social pointed out that Arauz would have 36.2% and Lasso, 21.7%
We still have to wait for the end of the official countdown, because the distance between Pérez and Lasso is very small. The second round is scheduled for April 11.
To win in the first round, a candidate would have to get 50% of the vote plus one, or 40%, but with a difference of ten percentage points from the finalist.
If Arauz’s advance is confirmed, joining the proposals of rivals Pérez and Lasso is very difficult. The voters of the indigenous leader, for example, are against the neoliberal model advocated by Lasso.
Arauz turned 36 last Saturday (6). Besides being young, he is also little known in the country for having lived abroad for a long time. He studied economics at the University of Michigan, United States. Then he returned to Ecuador for his master’s degree at Flacso (Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences).
Recently he was doing his doctorate at Unam (National Autonomous University of Mexico). And because of that, he cannot vote in this election, because his electoral domicile is in Mexico.
Born in Quito, he is the son of an oil company executive and a tourist agent. However, it was created by his maternal grandmother, Flor Galarza, 106, whom he took to vote this Sunday (7). “I owe him the education I had in my childhood and all the affection I received.”
Banker Guillermo Lasso voted for Guayaquil, at a school in the north of the city. “There will be a second round and we will win, because people want change,” he said.
Lasso made statements arguing that it was necessary to adhere to health rules. He did so, however, surrounded by journalists and supporters crowded around him.
Indigenous leader Yaku Pérez, meanwhile, voted for Cuenca, and asked people to make this day “a democratic party” and to vote for him was “to vote for a citizen like everyone else”.
Voting was marked by delayed opening lines and tables inside. Although authorities have ordered voters to vote at separate times – in the morning those with ID with the even ending, and in the afternoon those with the odd ending – to avoid crowds, in the early hours of this Sunday (7), that was not accomplished.
“We can’t ask that, we always vote together, then we have lunch and we each have things to do. Here in Quito, you always try to vote in the morning and together because you have to go to the polling station. Separating everyone’s vote disturbs the family, ”said Nataly Junqueira, 29, at a polling center in Quito, on the outskirts of the city.
She was accompanied by her father, who works in a food market, her husband, who is a taxi driver and sister-in-law. Junquera is a waitress but without a job. She takes care of the couple’s two children.
“We are very concerned about the impact of the pandemic on voting. First of all because of these difficulties in maintaining social distance in queues and towns. Then, because there are candidates playing with the fear of contamination, which can have an impact on the rate of participation in the polls, ”declared to Folha the American David Adler, observer of the International Progressive organization. .
Ecuador faces an increase in coronavirus cases. On Saturday (6), a new record was recorded for the number of people infected and killed across the country. This time, the epicenter of the new cases is the province of Pichincha, where the country’s capital, Quito, is located. In recent days, the number of hospitalized for the disease has surpassed a thousand, threatening the country’s hospital system.
There are concerns about the counting of the votes, because in the last presidential election there was a “blackout”, when the counting system went offline and raised doubts as to whether all the votes were passed. accounts.
“It would be important that this does not happen again, so as not to generate demonstrations, which will be negative for the legitimation of the result, and can generate agglomerations which increase the risk of contagions. For now, we see that it There are few party inspectors to monitor the vote count and that can be problematic, ”says Adler.