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News > Latin America

Right-Wing Runner up Demands Ecuador Vote Recount Despite Paltry 'Evidence'

  • Guillermo Lasso's campaign whipped up expectations of election fraud among his supporters even before polls closed.

    Guillermo Lasso's campaign whipped up expectations of election fraud among his supporters even before polls closed. | Photo: Reuters / teleSUR

Published 5 April 2017

Election observers lauded the vote and refuted fraud claims, while presidents from the region already acknowledged the victory of Lasso's opponent.

After being declared the loser in Sunday's tight presidential race, right-wing former banker Guillermo Lasso held a press conference Wednesday to deliver "proof" of election fraud that led him to declared he and his party would not accept official results.

Ecuador's Election Head Laments Lasso Behaving Like 'Bad Loser'

“We have a mountain of documents,” said Lasso during a Wednesday press conference in the port city of Guayaquil. Despite this claim, Lasso and his CREO-SUMA alliance representatives relied largely on the discrepancy between official results and favorable exit polls, while also highlighting a handful of faulty electoral rolls.

Cesar Monge, head of the CREO-SUMA alliance added that the fact that the website of the National Electoral Council, or CNE, was not available at one point for a short period of time on Sunday afternoon was further evidence of fraud.

The right-wing former candidate, who was edged out by Lenin Moreno of the governing PAIS Alliance, demanded a "vote by vote" recount after challenging 1,795 electoral rolls.  

Juan Pablo Pozo, head of the CNE, said that during the election all voting centers were installed in the country and no incidents were reported during the process.

Pozo explained that irregularities are recorded when the documents of the voting centers don't add up with the individual votes due to mistakes by people recording them, or when poll officials fail to sign the electoral rolls.

OAS Observer Mission Hails Ecuador Elections, Dismisses Fraud

Pozo told reporters at a press conference that the website only publishes the information of the votes, but the counting process continues without any interruption through another system.

"We guaranteed security and transparency in each one of the phases of the election," said Pozo.

The official also criticized the CREO-SUMA alliance for basing their claims on exit polls that projected Lasso as the winner, rather than on the official results. Exit polls, which are surveys done outside the voting centers, rely on people actual declaring who they voted for and are not official data.

Pozo said that from the 41,042 electoral rolls across the country, with about 835 — or 2 percent — present irregularities. He said a public audit process was opened as per the law, allowing parties to challenge results. Of the 24 appeals made and resolved, none were presented by the right-wing alliance.

Ecuador's Private Sector Backs Banker Lasso, Calls for Recount

"CREO hasn't filed one claim," said Pozo.

The top election official called on any of the parties that want to appeal the result to present the documents to back up their claim.

Observers from the Organization of American States and from the Union of South American States lauded the electoral process and refuted claims that fraud was committed. 

Pozo added that the international community had praised the work of the CNE and that world leaders including presidents from every country in the region had already acknowledged the victory of Moreno. 

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