Lasso pushing the case of voter fraud but observers give election clean bill of health

Apr 4, 2017 | 6 comments

Guillermo Lasso continues to claim that Sunday’s presidential election was “illegitimate and fraudulent” and says he will insist on a recount.

Guillermo Lasso (El Mercurio)

With 99.5% of ballots counted, Ecuador’s National Electoral Council (CNE) reported Monday night that Lenin Moreno, former vice president to Rafael Correa, received 51.17% of the vote to Lasso’s 48.83%.

“What we are witnessing in Ecuador is the dictatorship of a single political party,” Lasso said. “It is being established by fraudulent means and I ask the citizens to rise up against it and that the legitimate governments of the world express their condemnation.”

Lasso supporters protest in Quito Monday night.

On Monday, Lasso and his campaign manager, Fernando Coronel, held a press conference in Quito and said there was “clear evidence” of election fraud in Sunday’s election. “I am presenting information of irregularities to the CNE and am demanding that votes be recounted,” he said. “If this happens and Mr. Moreno still wins, I will accept the results, but not before.”

César Monge, director of the Creo political party, maintains that the fraud occurred at several CNE vote counting centers, including the one in Guayaquil. “We cannot accept the results if these irregularies are not investigated,” he said. “We are presenting our challenge to CNE and, by law, re-counting is necessary.”

Earlier Monday, Lasso met with Organization of American States’ (OAS) observer Leonel Fernández, former president of the Dominican Republic, but said he received no encouragement.

As they had on Sunday, international election observers said Monday that the election had been “clean and efficient.” Alexander Vega, who led a delegation of observers from UNASUR, agree with Fernández that the CNE had managed the process well. Vega also pointed out that representatives of both presidential candidates were on hand during voting as well as vote counting Sunday night.

“We heard no complaints from any quarter during the process,” he said.

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