Election commission to recount 1.3 million votes but it’s not enough for Lasso

Apr 15, 2017 | 6 comments

Ecuador’s National Electoral Council (CNE) has agreed to recount almost 1.3 million votes as opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso continues to allege fraud in the presidential election.

Lasso and his CREO party are rejecting the CNE plan, insisting that every vote cast in the April 2 election be recounted. Lasso claims the limited recount is a “farce” and said that representatives of his campaign will not attend the recount to be held in Quito.

Lasso supporters protest outside CNE headquarters in Quito.

The National Electoral Council announced Friday it would recount all ballots contested in complaints filed by both parties, about 10 per cent of the total vote from 3,865 voting stations.

Official results from the presidential runoff election showed former banker Lasso lost by less than 3 percentage points to Rafael Correa’s hand-picked successor, Lenin Moreno. International observers from several monitoring groups, including the Organization of American States, have said they found no irregularities during the election.
Lasso says, however, that CREO found more “irregularities” after it provided its first list of contested ballots.

Council president Juan Pablo Pozo said the recount was being conduct for “the tranquility of the country.”

Moreno campaigned on a platform of continuing Correa’s “Citizens’ Revolution,” with adjustments. Lasso put forward a pro-business agenda he said would lift Ecuador’s slumping economy and generate jobs by attracting foreign investment and reducing taxes.

Lasso filed a challenge to the election results Wednesday, demanding a complete recount of every ballot cast. He had not yet responded to the council’s decision Friday, though he warned hours before the announcement he wouldn’t accept anything less than a full recount.

On Twitter, Correa said the electoral council was taking extraordinary steps to “finish at once Lasso’s show, for the elections the banker could not buy.”

Ecuador’s election was watched closely in Latin America as an indicator of whether the region would continue to shift right after recent conservative wins in countries including Peru and Argentina.

Lasso reacted angrily to CNE’s partial recount decision. “We can not lend ourselves to the farce set for  Tuesday. We can not play the game to a strategy that seeks to deceive the citizens. We will not be attending this show (by the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa) that seeks to mock the voters,” Lasso said in a statement on his Twitter account.

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