The election recount in 17 provinces begins today or tomorrow to determine whether Guillermo Lasso or Yaku Pérez will face Andrés Arauz in the April 11 presidential runoff. On Saturday, the Constitutional Court rejected Pérez’s petition for a recount of 100 percent of the votes cast in the February 7 election.
Diana Atamaint, National Electoral Council president, said the recount will involve 22,810 local voting committees and take about two weeks eo complete. Based on the agreement reached Friday between Pérez, Lasso and the CNE, all votes in Guayas Province will be recounted while 50 percent of the votes will be retabulated in of Azuay, Bolívar, Cañar, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Ríos, Manabí, Morona Santiago, Pichincha, Tungurahua, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas and Santa Elena Provinces.
Although it stood by the original results, the CNE agreed that given the closeness of the Lasso – Pérez race there were sufficient irregularities in the voting to warrant the recount. Lasso had a 40,000 vote lead over Pérez when vote counting ended on Thursday.
Atamaint said Sunday that all votes will remain under lock-and-key, protected by military personnel, until recounting begins. “All precautions are in place to assure the process is fair and transparent. Representatives of the between Arauz, Pérez and Lasso campaigns will be allowed to monitor all recounts.” She added that representatives of three international election monitoring organizations will also observe the recount.