Ecuador already has the two candidates for the second presidential round

  • The banker Guillermo Lasso will compete against the broker Andrés Arauz

  • The new president must take office on May 24.

Ecuador seems to be looming over the horizon of presidential runoff April 11. The National Electoral Council (CNE) reported that the runner Andrés Arauz will finally compete with the banker Guillermo Lasso. The secretary of the CNE, Santiago Vallejo, announced, after two weeks of uncertainty, that Arauz, obtained 32.72% of the votes, against 19.74% of the candidate of the conservative coalition. Lawyer Yaku perez, standard bearer of the indigenous movement, reaped 19.38% of the accessions. So far, Pérez has not presented the corresponding challenges contemplated by the electoral law, despite having denounced a “fraud“at the polls.

The count, whose postponement had caused a political crisis, was approved with the vote of four of the five members of the CNE during the first hours of this Sunday. “We are going to the second round with courage and optimism,” Lasso reacted on his Twitter account. “With me there will always be space to have a frontal and sincere dialogue,” he said, in a clear message to Pérez, who days ago rejected any possibility of supporting him in the second shift.

Lasso, 65, is running for the Ecuadorian presidency for the third time. This time he won’t fight Rafael Correa, as in 2013, but with his dolphin, who was a little more than seven points away from winning in the first turn. This time, he trusts not only to unite behind him the right wing vote, especially the Christian social one, but also the center and even left Ecuadorians who reject the possibility of a return of what he qualifies as populism and statism. The April election will therefore have a strong polarization component.

The two weeks of delay and tension in the counting of the votes has left an air of suspicion floating in the air, to the point that, beyond the requests for transparency made by the Organization of American States (OAS), the Comptroller’s Office (prosecutor’s office ) requested the CNE to allow it to perform an audit of the electoral computer system. Looking ahead to April 11, he said, it is necessary to “guarantee” the “legal certainty” and the “legitimacy” of the elections to general a “trust environment“.

Complaints of interference

Arauz spoke of a “interference and rude intrusion“from the Comptroller’s Office that threatens to interrupt the dynamics of the electoral process.” This is openly illegal. It should not be allowed. There are attempts to prevent the holding of the second round in a timely manner. “The young economist called the Contentious Electoral Tribunal to rule on this “handling” that seeks to extend the mandate of the current president, Lenin Moreno. “We can’t take another day of this misrule“The majority of society, he said, rejects” manipulations. “

Arauz asked international observers to be vigilant and not leave the country. He also stressed that on May 24 the next president must take office. “We are always going to defend the will of the Ecuadorian people and the rights to decide on their future. Let us not allow any decision to modify the electoral calendar.”

Moreno took office in 2017 and immediately broke his alliance with Correa as soon as he assumed the presidency. He ends his term with a popularity of 7%.

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