President of election commission rejects political attacks, says he works for the Ecuadorian people

Feb 25, 2017

Juan Pablo Pozo, president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), said Friday that his job is to maintain the public trust, not to please political parties.

CNE President Juan Pablo Pozo.

Pozo was criticized Wednesday and Thursday by representatives of Alianza País, the party representing President Rafael Correa and presidential candidate Lenin Moreno. They said he made a mistake in announcing a runoff election between Moreno and Creo candidate Guillermo Lasso before all votes had been counted. Earlier in the week, it was Lasso supporters and other opposition leaders who were claiming the CNE was committing voting fraud.

“My only objective is represent the will of the people and I will do it with absolute respect for the principles of democracy,” Pozo said Friday. “I do not respond to threats and insults. The democratic process works only through dialogue,” he said.

Nubia Villacís, CNE vice president and an advocate for Alizana País, claimed Thursday that Pozo acted too quickly in announcing a runoff election. “This should not have happened until we had a total, definitive and official count of the vote,” she said Thursday.

Pozo had announced Tuesday, with 5% of the vote left to count, that it would be mathematically impossible for Moreno to attain the 40% of the vote needed to avoid a runoff.

José Serrano, former interior minister and candidate for the National Assembly also blasted Pozo for “a premature proclamation” of the runoff.

On Monday and Tuesday, during a lull in vote count announcements, it was anti-government protesters who claimed that the delay suggested voting fraud.

Said Pozo, “I must be doing something right since both sides disagree with my decisions.”

Pozo appears to have been proven right in the announcement of the runoff. With less than a third of one percent of the vote remaining to be counted, totals show that a runoff is assured.

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