The Contentious Electoral Tribunal rejected the appeal of the February 7 election by Yaku Pérez and his Pachakutik movement. The Sunday decision confirms an earlier denial by the National Electoral Council’s to recount 27,000 polling stations and guarantees that Andrés Arauz and Guillermo Lasso will meet in the April 11 presidential runoff.
The TCE said that Pérez’s challenge had no legal basis. The decision cannot be appealed.
Pérez reacted angrily to the decision and said his challenge is not over. “When the powers that be are passionate about pleasing their cronies and maintaining their privilege they will do anything. On our side, however, we have the most powerful weapon, which is the truth,” he said.
Speaking to supporters in Manabí Province, Pérez said he would meet with Pachakutik and indigenous leaders to determine the next move. “We will not stand by idly when fraud has committed,” he said. He claims that thousands of votes for Lasso and Arauz were double-counted as part of a conspiracy to keep him out of the runoff.
TCE said that that the elections council count was correct and that Pérez lost to Lasso by 32,115 votes, or 19.74% to Pérez 19.39%.
Pachakutik’s claim of fraud filed with the attorney general’s office is pending although, under Ecuadorian law, it does not change the outcome of the election following the TCE action.
With the TCE ruling, the elections council can proceed with preparations for the runoff election, including the printing of ballots.