With almost all of the votes counted, the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Ecuador on Tuesday (16) suspended the recount of the first round of the presidential election, requested by the left-wing indigenous leader Yaku Pérez, who accuses fraud.
“This plenary session of the CNE, unfortunately, does not respond to the request, neither approves nor rejects the report presented by the technical pole on the recount request”, announced the president of the entity, Diana Atamaint.
The request was put on hold due to the lack of a majority in the CNE plenary vote, which met overnight. Of the 5 members, 2 voted in favor of Pérez’s request, 1 against, 1 abstained and the fifth did not attend the session.
Councilor José Cabrera, who voted against, said that it was first necessary to “complete the investigation, proclaim the results and then that the recusal appeals” provided for by law be presented.
Pérez officially submitted a request for a recount of the votes in 17 of the country’s 24 provinces. The examination would affect nearly 6 million votes, or 45% of the 13.1 million voters registered in the country’s official system.
The native chief alleges that during the preliminary investigation, there was fraud to prevent his presence in the second round. In the challenge of the first stage, he was overtaken by the ex-banker and conservative candidate, Guillermo Lasso, in the middle of the count.
According to the preliminary tally, towards the end with 99.98% of the votes counted, left-wing economist Andrés Arauz, sponsored by former President Rafael Correa, led the first round with 32.72% of the preference.
Lasso and Pérez fought vote by vote for second place, with the right candidate in the lead, with 19.74% of the vote, against 19.38% of the indigenous leader, according to the preliminary tally. With the recount imbroglio, however, the final outcome of the second round is still uncertain.
Pérez reacted and spoke to the CNE: “They will not defeat us, they will not annihilate us, the resistance continues. Today. [o CNE] has just taken a decision that is deadlocked.
The revision of the votes had been established Friday (12), in front of international observers, between the candidates and the electorate, but it required the approval of the plenary.
The proposal was to recount 100% of the ballot boxes in the province of Guayas, which has the largest number of voters, and 50% in 16 other provinces.
CNE vice-president Enrique Pita, who opted for abstention, insisted on the fact that “the electoral deadlines must not be jeopardized”, in particular the second round of the campaign from March 16 to April 8.
Groups of natives linked to Pérez announced demonstrations for this Wednesday (17) and a march to Quito to denounce an alleged fraud against their candidate.