The majority of Ecuadorians are undecided about local races and issues on President Guillermo Lasso’s referendum in the February election, according to the Institute of Political Sciences of the Technological Business University of Guayaquil.
A study by the center showed about 70 percent of the population still does not know who they will vote for as mayor or prefect, while 95.5 percent say they undecided about the candidates to the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control (Cpccs).
Gorki Aguirre, director of the center in charge of the survey, told Radio Sonorama that citizens currently show a high level of political apathy with some expecting gifts from the candidates to choose who to vote for.
Many voters say they do not understand one of the election’s over-arching themes, the conflict between Lasso and the National Assembly, which is controlled by supporters of former President Rafael Correa.
Despite the confusion, one issue appears to be foremost in the minds of voters: rising crime rates. According the study and several polls, voters say they will vote for candidates who promise the strongest position for law enforcement.
On February 5, Ecuadorians will elect 23 provincial prefects and vice prefects, 221 mayors, 864 urban and 443 rural councilors, as well as 4,109 members of parish councils.
In addition, they will vote for the seven principal and alternate members of the Cpccs and decide the popular consultation proposed by Lasso.
The election, for which $18 million has been allocated, contains the eight referendum questions on issues such as environment, security, transparency, registration of political parties, conformation of the legislature and the powers of the Cpccs.
The electoral campaign starts on January 3 and during this period an explosion of propaganda is expected, although this will probably not contribute to define the vote, warned the expert.