Most roads remain open despite strike as Pérez says he will continue fight for more election recounts
Despite periodic highway blockages on E35 on Monday, traffic continued to move, albeit slowly, on the country’s main north-south route. “We are working with the protesters to allow the passage of vehicles but we are advising the public that movement is slow and uncertain,” the transit police said in a statement.
Yaku Pérez, in whose cause the national indigenous strike was called, said he is advising his supporters to avoid violence and to allow passage on the highways. “I understand the anger and betrayal that they feel but I am urging them to remain calm as we pursue justice in the election process,” he said.
Despite picking up 612 votes against second-place presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso in a recount of 31 polling stations, Pérez continues to insist that votes in 20,050 other stations be recounted. “You see the gain we made in the recount of 31 and it shows how we can move into second place with the recount of 20,000 more,” he said. If the National Elections Council does not reconsider its decision for a limited recount, Pérez says he will appeal to the Contentious Electoral Tribunal and possibly to the Constitutional Court.
“If all the votes in our challenge are not counted, we can be assured that fraud has been committed in this election,” Pérez said, blaming the alleged fix on former president Rafael Correa and former Guayaquil mayor Jaime Nebot. “I will do everything in my power to overcome this Machiavellian pact and to assure that my country has a free and fair elections. Stealing votes is stealing a dream.”
Pérez repeated his earlier insistence that he will not form an alliance with Lasso. “I will not unite with the neoliberal right and their anti-environmental, anti-progressive agenda for the sake of defeating the Correista monster. And why should I even consider it? If all the votes are counted, it will show that I am in second place and will be in the runoff.”
Meanwhile, fourth-place presidential finisher Xavier Hervas of the Democractic Left movement continues to talk to the Lasso campaign about joining forces for the April 11 runoff against Andres Arauz. Hervas received 14 percent of the February 7 vote.