Center-left Andres Arauz will face conservative former banker Guillermo Lasso in the second round of Ecuador’s presidential election on April 11, according to the country’s National Electoral Council. Arauz, the 36-year-old protege of former socialist President Rafael Correa, won the first round with 32.72 percent of the vote.
The officials results were announced Sunday morning, two weeks after the national election.
Lasso won 19.74 percent, beating indigenous leader Yaku Perez who won 19.39 percent, a 32,600 vote difference, according to the final results of the February 7 election announced by the electoral body’s secretary Santiago Vallejo.
Approval of the results were certified by four out of the five members of CNE at a meeting that lasted into the early hours of Sunday morning.
Perez has 48 hours to challenge the official count. Last week, the 51-year-old environmental lawyer had formally submitted a request for a recount in 17 of Ecuador’s 24 provinces.
The recount would have involved about six million ballots, representing about 45 percent of Ecuador’s registered voters. Perez has alleged there was fraud to keep him out of the runoff after he was displaced from second to third place by Lasso’s narrow lead in the middle of the count.
“Today democracy has triumphed, we are going with courage and optimism to this second round,” Lasso said in a statement following the announcement.
Incumbent President Lenin Moreno’s term in office ends on May 24.
In addition to a potential challenge by Perez, Ecuador’s state comptroller Pablo Celi is asking for an evaluation of the computers used to tabulate the vote. He said Saturday that the review is necessary due the large number of complaints about voting results.
The Organization of American States urged Ecuador’s National Electoral Council to “guarantee compliance with the electoral calendar” to ensure that the April runoff takes place as scheduled.