Opposition candidates complain to OAS about election computer system

Jan 18, 2017 | 6 comments

The campaigns of three presidential candidates have lodged complaints with the Organization of American States (OAS) about Ecuador’s election system.

OAS representative Leonel Fernández.

Representatives for Cynthia Viteri (Christian Democrat), Paco Moncayo (Democratic Left,) and Guillermo Lasso (CREO) met this week with Leonel Fernández, OAS representative and the former president of the Dominican Republic, to express their concerns.

“The concerns are basically about the voter verification process and with the computer system and scanners that will be used to transmit election results to National Electoral Council (CNE),” said Fernández.  He added that none of the candidate claimed that the election was rigged, only that they wanted more assurances about the system’s integrity.

The OAS has been invited by the government to observe the campaign and election for president and National Assembly. The election is Sunday, February 19, with an April run-off if necessary. “Our job is to make certain that there is confidence in the election for both voters and candidates and that the outcome reflects the public will,” Fernández said. “We will forward the concerns of the candidates to the CNE and told them we consider them valid.”

CNE conducted a nationwide election January 8 to test its computer system and reported that no irregularities occurred. Although Patriotic Society Party candidate Gilmar Gutiérrez participated in the drill, he said he was confused by the operation of the computer system.

“I didn’t understand how it worked between the voting locations and the CNE,” Gutiérrez said. “It’s important that all candidates understand each step in the process and can trust the system.”

CNE political participation coordinator Milton Paredes says that all political organizations can participate in election trials and have their delegates at polling stations on election day to certify the transparency of the voting process.

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