Final election results to be announced Saturday or Sunday; Yaku apologizes for comments; Ecuador ranks 9th for new Covid cases in South America
The National Electoral Council met Saturday morning to compile the official results of the February 7 election. Once the votes from the provincial CNE offices are accepted and approved, official results will be announced, according to council member Luis Verdesoto. The final count is expected Saturday or Sunday at the latest.
All eyes are on the results of the runner-up position in the presidential race where either Guillermo Lasso or Yaku Pérez will face Andréz Arauz in the April 11 runoff to determine who will be the next president. Unofficially, Lasso leads Pérez 1,829,378 votes to 1,796,542. With an undermined number of votes still to be added to the total. Arauz finished first in the 16-candidate field with 3,032,906 votes.
Once official results are released, Lasso or Pérez will have 48 hours to lodge objections or to request recounts.
Yaku apologizes for ‘extreme’ comments
Presidential candidate of Yaku Pérez apologized Friday for what he said were “extreme and poorly considered” comments regarding the election process and opponent Guillermo Lasso. In comments on Twitter and at two news conferences, Pérez said that election fraud was committed “by organized crime operating out of Belgium, the National Electoral Council and Lasso’s campaign headquarters.” He added there were other comments he made that he now regrets.
“I felt outrage at what I saw during the election and I want corrections,” he said. “I am human and probably overstated my case in the heat of emotion. I apologize for the offenses I committed.”
Ecuador is ninth in South America for new Covid cases
According to Johns Hopkins University in the U.S., Ecuador ranks ninth for new Covid cases in South America since the beginning of the year. Countries with higher per capita case counts are Brazil, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Colombia and Bolivia.
Anthony Bowden, a data technician at Johns Hopkins, says that Ecuador might rank slightly higher, possibly seventh or eighth, if it had conducted more Covid-19 PCR tests. “The country lags the other countries by about 20 percent in the number of tests conducted,” he says. “On the other hand, the number of hospitalizations and deaths from the virus in Ecuador indicate the ranking is correct.”
Bowden said that since the beginning of the pandemic, Ecuador ranks second in South America in total deaths due to the deadly surge in Guayaquil in March and April. “This was one of the most deadly episodes in the world in 2020 and we still are not certain what caused it to be so extreme and it skews Ecuador’s numbers. Since April, the country has fared relatively well with the overall impact of the virus.”