Ecuadorean President-elect Lenin Moreno’s Alianza Pais party announced plans on Wednesday to support a vote recount to prove Sunday’s second-round presidential election was legal and transparent.
For days, right-wing presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso and his CREO-SUMA coalition have claimed the elections were “fraudulent” and “rigged” in favor of Moreno, despite the fact that Organization of American States election observers found “no discrepancies between the observed records and the official data” from the CNE. Since the election Argentina, Paraguay, Panama, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, El Salvador, Colombia and Venezuela have all congratulated Moreno on his election win.
But Lasso has refused to relent, even inciting violent protests in several cities across Ecuador, demanding a vote recount the rest of the region doesn't believe is necessary.
The right-wing former banker who was featured in the Panama Papers for creating and acting as director of 10 offshore companies in the Central American nation went as far as claiming at a Wednesday press conference that he had “a mountain of documents” proving there was election fraud. These documents, however, were just printed versions of favorable exit polls from opposition media.
Now, Alianza Pais is calling the right-wing banker’s bluff, backing a vote recount to prove Sunday’s election was legitimate.
“We request that this review be carried out immediately — in a public place, with all the national and international media, with delegates of the two movements — to demonstrate that they lied to our country, defrauded the public faith, generated violence and tried to sow chaos in our beloved Ecuador,” Alianza Pais said in a statement.
“May this exercise reinforce Ecuadorean democracy and forever isolate the immoral (ones) and liars.”
Alianza Pais also announced plans to take legal action against opposition media outlets like Cedatos, Ecuavisa and Canal Uno, which all released doctored exit polls favoring Lasso’s victory. Cedatos, for example, projected a win for the opposition candidate by more than 6 percent — the projection was significantly inaccurate, given that Moreno ended up winning with 2 percent of votes.
The Cedatos exit poll came after controversy swirled around the pollster in the final weeks of the election campaign. The outlet repeatedly released rogue data that contradicted the findings of other polls, and came under fire for its links to Lasso.
Incumbent President Rafael Correa called Cedatos’ poll manipulation “reprehensible,” saying the organization should “respond and take responsibility for what they did.” Correa also denounced outbreaks of violence among Lasso supporters in Quito and Guayaquil.
“They want to achieve by force with their arrogance what they didn't achieve at the polls,” he told reporters on Monday at Hotel Quito.
Moreno and Alianza Pais are calling on Lasso and opposition media to make public apologies ahead of the vote recount. Ecuador’s National Electoral Council has not yet set a date for the event.