A week after going to the polls to choose their next president, Ecuadorians still seem far from knowing who are the candidates who will run in the country’s second round. One name, leftist Andrés Arauz, has already secured his seat, but a request for a recount of the votes will indefinitely delay defining who his opponent will be.
On Friday (12), the National Electoral Council (CNE) issued a statement announcing that it will revise the minutes to ensure the transparency of the elections. The decision was the result of an agreement between the agency and the two running candidates after one of them made allegations of electoral fraud.
With 99.84% of the minutes counted, the conservative banker Guillermo Lasso holds 19.74% of the votes. Indigenous leader Yaku Pérez, who had led the race for the siege in the second round, lost the lead and added 19.38% – Arauz got 32.71% of the total vote.
During a protest with around 600 supporters outside the CNE headquarters in Quito on Thursday (11), Pérez said “the fraud was consumed” and demanded that the electoral authorities “simply open the lid of the presidential minutes. [onde estão os votos]”.
The request, according to the leftist, was rejected and he threatened to file a complaint with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the United Nations.
The next day, however, the CNE announced that it would tell a total of minutes corresponding to 45% of the electorate. “Around 6 million votes will be considered vote by vote,” said agency president Diana Atamaint. The process, she said, is expected to start on Monday (15) or Tuesday (16) and will last around 15 days.
“With this, we give samples and guarantees of transparency, because there is nothing to hide,” Atamaint added. The recount includes 100% of the votes in the province of Guayas, which has the largest number of voters, and 50% of the total in 16 other provinces, such as Pichincha (where the capital is located) and Manabí.
With 24 provinces in all, Ecuador has 17.4 million inhabitants, of which 13.1 million were called to the polls last Sunday.
“As soon as the review process is completed, the final announcement of the results will be made,” Atamaint said in a press release. “We will firmly defend the electoral process that we have prepared with great care, responsibility, but above all with transparency.”
Pérez and Lasso agreed to the recount at a meeting attended by observers from the Organization of American States (OAS).
“We are delivering the evidence and evidence, with several incompatible acts, which have been presented in several provinces,” said the indigenous leader. “We are convinced that now, with transparency, we will collect many votes. It was worth the fight. “
Several social groups have joined the indigenous movement in recent days to organize protests in favor of Pérez in Quito and Guayaquil, the country’s largest city. The candidate thanked the support, but asked the protesters to calm down.
In 2019, protests by the same groups escalated into violence and forced President Lenín Moreno to repeal the elimination of fuel subsidies. Clashes with the country’s security forces left 11 dead and more than 1,300 injured.
Moreno’s four-year term ends on May 24, and the second-round vote is scheduled for April 11.