Although he’s running for president, leftist economist Andres Arauz will not be able to vote in his own country because his residence is registered in Mexico, electoral authorities said Friday.
“He can only vote in Mexico at the Ecuadoran consulate,” says Enrique Pita, vice president of the National Electoral Council (CNE). Another CNE adviser, Jose Cabrera, confirmed that since Arauz “is registered in Mexico, he cannot vote in Ecuador.”
Even though voting is compulsory in Ecuador for people aged between 18 and 65, it is optional for those living abroad, so he will not have committed any offence, the officials said. He says he has no plans to travel to Mexico and will remain with his campaign following Sunday’s vote.
Before presenting his candidacy in August, Arauz, a minister under former president Rafael Correa (2007-2017), lived in Mexico where he was completing a doctorate at the National Autonomous University. So in his case, the “vote is optional, he doesn’t have to vote,” Pita confirmed.
It is widely expected that Arauz will lead Sunday’s voting but face right-wing ex-banker Guillermo Lasso or left-wing indigenous leader Yaku Perez in an April runoff. Arauz is leading in most polls — among a record number of 16 candidates — to succeed President Lenin Moreno, who is not running for re-election and will complete his four-year term on May 24.