With a fresh victory in hand, Ecuadoreans will be looking for President Lenin Moreno to move beyond the political duel with his domineering predecessor and focus his attention on the nation’s stagnant economy. Ecuadoreans voted by a landslide in a nationwide referendum Sunday to limit presidents to just one re-election, barring three-time former President Rafael Correa from returning to power. The measure was approved by an almost 2-to-1 margin, sending the strongest signal yet that the Andean nation is ready to shift gears away from Correa, the leftist strongman who has dominated the nation’s politics over the last decade. But how far Moreno will diverge from Correa’s agenda remains to be seen.
The election campaign for the popular referendum to be held in Ecuador on Feb. 4 began on Wednesday with 40 registered citizens’ organizations, most of them favoring the “yes” vote for the seven questions to be asked of the public by the government of Lenin Moreno. Just four social organizations, of the 40 approved by the National Electoral Council (CNE), will campaign for the “no” option to certain questions on the referendum dealing with issues such as corruption, re-election, capital gains, citizenship, mining and sexual crimes against minors. The CNE reiterated on Wednesday that the election campaign will last until midnight on Feb. 1, when a moratorium on proselytizing will be instituted to give the citizenry time to reflect on how they intend to vote.
The president of the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Ecuador, Juan Pablo Pozo, announced that it will prohibit the early dissemination of exit polls. “From now on, no figures can be given, until the institutions have given them first, otherwise it generates unnecessary speculation by the people,” suggested the president of the CNE. Reforms to the Democracy Code will also try to regulate electoral advertising on the internet. The initiative of the electoral body will be discussed for three months, starting next June, Pozo said on Wednesday, April 26.
International observers from the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) have ratified the transparency of the vote recount following the second round of the recently held presidential elections in Ecuador. The mission of observers from Unasur confirmed in a press release Thursday that it is still supervising the process with four highly technical teams; both the first round of elections on February 19 and the run-off on April 2. They also observed the first vote recount on April 8, and the second on April 18 when electoral workers recounted 11,2 percent of the ballots. ‘The recount was all normal, under the presence of national and international observers, communication media and delegates from the political organizations in the nation,’ the release stresses.
A recount of nearly 1.3 million votes cast in Ecuador’s presidential election Tuesday showed no significant differences over previous results handing a narrow victory to Rafael Correa’s handpicked successor. Lenin Moreno defeated former banker Guillermo Lasso by a slightly larger margin than previously revealed but still less than 3 percentage points, according to the recount of about 10 percent of the votes. “The recount is over and it has ratified the results,” National Electoral Council president Juan Pablo Pozo announced.
Ecuador election officials will recount nearly 1.3m votes cast in the Andean nation’s presidential election, though opposition leader Guillermo Lasso on Friday dismissed the gesture as a farce that would do nothing to quell accusations of fraud. The National Electoral Council announced late on Thursday it would recount all ballots contested by both parties, about 10% of the total vote. Official results from the 2 April election showed conservative former banker Lasso lost by less than three percentage points to President Rafael Correa’s handpicked successor, Lenín Moreno. International observers including the Organization of American States (OAS) have said they found no irregularities, though Lasso claims his campaign found numerous inconsistencies and has refused to accept the official results.
Ecuador: Electoral Council to recount 1.3 million election votes as opposition leader alleges fraud | Associated Press
Ecuador election officials have agreed to recount nearly 1.3 million votes as opposition leader Guillermo Lasso continues to allege fraud in the presidential election. The National Electoral Council announced late Thursday it would recount all ballots contested in complaints filed by both parties, about 10 per cent of the total vote. Official results from the small Andean nation’s April 2 election showed former banker Lasso lost by less than 3 percentage points to Rafael Correa’s hand-picked successor, Lenin Moreno. International observers including the Organization of American States have said they found no irregularities, though Lasso claims his campaign found numerous inconsistencies and has refused to accept the official results.
Ecuador will recount almost 1.3 million ballots from the country’s presidential election earlier this month, 12 percent of the total, the National Electoral Council (CNE) has said. Socialist Lenin Moreno won the April 2 second round with a 51.15 percent share — more than 226,000 votes ahead of his conservative rival Guillermo Lasso, who has alleged fraud, refused to accept the result and asked for a full recount. In a statement issued late Thursday, the electoral council said it approved a “recount of the votes corresponding to the disputed tallies” to be held Tuesday.
Opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso filed a complaint Wednesday challenging Ecuador election results that show he narrowly lost to President Rafael Correa’s handpicked successor. The former banker is demanding a recount of all votes cast in the election, repeating accusations of fraud and saying if Lenin Moreno takes power he will head an illegitimate government. “It’s necessary to be in the streets,” he told supporters at an event announcing the election challenge. Official results released Monday show Lasso lost to Lenin Moreno by less than three points. The election was closely watched in Latin America as an indicator of whether the region would continue to shift right after recent conservative candidate wins in countries including Peru and Argentina.
Opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso filed a complaint Wednesday challenging Ecuador election results that show he narrowly lost to President Rafael Correa’s handpicked successor. The former banker is demanding a recount of all votes cast in the election, repeating accusations of fraud and saying if Lenin Moreno takes power he will head an illegitimate government. “It’s necessary to be in the streets,” he told supporters at an event announcing the election challenge.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa confirmed Tuesday that with the recount requested by the right-wing opposition, former presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso lost 100 votes, while President elect Lenin Moreno gained an additional 143 votes. After coming in 2 percent behind Moreno in the April 2 run-off vote, Lasso alleged the elections were fraudulent, basing his claims largely on favorable exit polls that has projected a win for him and his running mate Andres Paez. Days later, after the National Electoral Council, known as CNE, officially delcared Moreno the winner with more than 99 percent of votes counted, Lasso requested a vote-by-vote recount.
Ecuador’s National Electoral Council announced Sunday that the presidential vote recount was finished, saying it would make an official announcement of results Monday. For days, Lasso and his CREO-SUMA coalition have claimed the elections were “fraudulent” and “rigged” in favor of Moreno, despite the fact that the Organization of American States international observers found “no discrepancies between the observed records and the official data” from the National Electoral Council. Since the election, Argentina, Paraguay, Panama, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, El Salvador, Colombia and Venezuela and even the U.S. have all congratulated Moreno on his election win.
In a surprise move, Ecuador’s ruling party, Country Alliance, has called for a recount of the votes cast in the weekend’s presidential election. Its candidate, Lenin Moreno, had won the election by the narrowest margin, with 51.16% of the vote. Moreno is considered the “heir apparent” of previous President Rafael Correa, who has been in office for three terms. For days, Guillermo Lasso, a former banker and Ecuador’s conservative challenger for the presidency, who recorded 48.86% of the vote, has been alleging fraud and vote rigging. Despite these accusations, the Organization of American States election observers “found no discrepancies between the observed records and the official data”. In calling Lasso’s bluff on Wednesday, Country Alliance took the opportunity to denounce his bad faith.
In a surprise move, Ecuador’s ruling party, Country Alliance, has called for a recount of the votes cast in the weekend’s presidential election. Its candidate, Lenin Moreno, had won the election by the narrowest margin, with 51.16% of the vote. Moreno is considered the “heir apparent” of previous President Rafael Correa, who has been in office for three terms. For days, Guillermo Lasso, a former banker and Ecuador’s conservative challenger for the presidency, who recorded 48.86% of the vote, has been alleging fraud and vote rigging. Supporters of Lasso’s Creo Suma, or Creating Opportunities, party have taken up his cry. One, a protester named Gustavo Palacio, said:
Ecuadorean President-elect Lenin Moreno’s Alianza Pais party announced plans on Wednesday to support a vote recount to prove Sunday’s second-round presidential election was legal and transparent. For days, right-wing presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso and his CREO-SUMA coalition have claimed the elections were “fraudulent” and “rigged” in favor of Moreno, despite the fact that Organization of American States election observers found “no discrepancies between the observed records and the official data” from the CNE. Since the election Argentina, Paraguay, Panama, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, El Salvador, Colombia, and Venezuela have all congratulated Moreno on his election win. But Lasso has refused to relent, even inciting violent protests in several cities across Ecuador, demanding a vote recount the rest of the region doesn’t believe is necessary.
Supporters of Guillermo Lasso protested in the capital, Quito, for a second night on Monday, echoing their candidate’s calls for votes to be recounted. “I’m warning the world that in Ecuador procedures are being violated, and they’re trying to swear in an illegitimate government,” Lasso said. “This is a clumsy fraud attempt.” Addressing a crowd of a few thousand supporters outside the National Electoral Council, Lasso said “We’re not afraid of the miserable cowards who are on the wrong side of history.” The scenes were more muted than protests on Sunday – election evening – when thousands of Lasso supporters chanted “fraud” through the night. Lasso shared images of the protests on his Twitter feed, saying: “All of you are like the majority of Ecuadoreans who voted for a change. Thank you for your support, thank you for your confidence.”
Right-wing opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso alleged fraud Sunday in Ecuador’s presidential runoff election, vowing to contest results that had his rival Lenin Moreno extending a decade of socialist rule. Moreno, the designated heir to President Rafael Correa’s “21st-century socialism,” had 51.07 percent of the vote to 48.93 percent for ex-banker Lasso, with 94.2 percent of districts reporting, said the National Electoral Council. Lasso said his campaign had evidence of an attempt to rig the results. “We are going to defend the will of the Ecuadoran people in the face of an attempted fraud that aims to install what would be an illegitimate government,” he said, setting up what could be a long and ugly fight.
Leftist government candidate Lenin Moreno claimed victory in Ecuador’s presidential vote on Sunday, bucking a shift to the right in South America, but the conservative challenger asked for a recount as some supporters took to the streets in protest. A Moreno win would come as a relief for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after conservative candidate Guillermo Lasso vowed to remove Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy in London if he won the runoff. It would also boost the struggling leftist movement in South America after right-leaning governments recently came to power in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru as a commodities boom ended, economies flagged and corruption scandals grew.
A decade ago, Rafael Correa was sworn in as president of Ecuador in the Andean village of Zumbahua. In the presence of fellow “pink tide” socialist presidents Hugo Chávez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, five indigenous priests sprinkled him with sacred herbs and evoked the spirits of the moon and sun to provide him with positive energy. But as Ecuadoreans prepare to go to the polls this Sunday, his successor candidate can no longer count on the support of the country’s indigenous population. The blessing of Pachamama – the Andean Mother Earth – has deserted him. “We will vote to reject correaismo,” Carlos Pérez Guartambel, a leader of indigenous party Pachakutik, told AQ. “(Correa) has plundered indigenous symbols and beliefs. He has prostituted his principles by supporting large-scale mining projects and violating the profound connection with Pachamama.”
Less than a week ahead of the second round of presidential elections in Ecuador, conservative candidate Guillermo Lasso’s campaign continues to raise eyebrows after giving out free Lasso-branded basic food products to voters in a move that some have likened to vote-buying. After images of milk and bread with Lasso’s image and campaign slogans circulated on social media, the governing Alianza Pais party — whose candidate Lenin Moreno led the presidential race in recent polls — has announced that that it will file a complaint with the National Electoral Council, known as CNE, slamming the action as “immoral and illegal campaign(ing)”. “We reject such practices,” said Alianza Pais in a statement. “They undermine the values of democracy, participation and respect for people.”
Depending on how things go in the April 2 presidential runoff election in Ecuador, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may soon be looking for a new home. In 2012 Mr. Assange was granted asylum at Ecuador’s London embassy, where he went to avoid deportation. He is wanted in Sweden for questioning on sexual-assault charges but might eventually be sent to the U.S., where he could face severe penalties for posting classified material on the WikiLeaks website. If former banker and political outsider Guillermo Lasso of the opposition party CREO wins, he has promised to evict Mr. Assange. Should Lenín Moreno—President Rafael Correa’s handpicked candidate—prevail, Mr. Assange’s asylum lodgings are likely safe.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced Friday that right-wing presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso is under legal investigation by the country’s Internal Revenue Service, SRI, for illegal activities involving his offshore companies. On Thursday, Argentine investigative news agency Pagina 12 released an in-depth report revealing Lasso’s connection to 49 companies in offshore tax havens. The companies, based in Panama, the Cayman Islands and Delaware, have diverse names that hide Lasso’s identity.
Former Ecuadorian general Luis Castro Ayala warned of a lack of transparency and security breaches with regard to the vote count during the nation’s elections on February 19. According to Castro Ayala, the Ecuadorian Army was not involved in the chain of custody of the ballot boxes after the voting had concluded. He alleges that the chain of custody should always count on the presence of the armed forces in order to safeguard the popular will. Castro Ayala says it is necessary to analyze “the participation and responsibility of the institution during the electoral process, considering respect for Constitutional order and the will of the people manifested at the polls.”
Ecuador: Presidential election could have big consequences for the fate of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange | Business Insider
There is less than a month to go before the second round of Ecuador’s presidential election, the outcome of which could end Julian Assange’s nearly five-year stay in the country’s London embassy. The April 2 runoff election pits Lenin Moreno, successor to current left-wing President Rafael Correa, against Guillermo Lasso, the right-wing opposition candidate. The Correa government has hosted Assange in a converted-office apartment in the embassy since June 19, 2012, when he fled bail and requested asylum in Ecuador to avoid extradition to Sweden, which has called for his return in relation to sexual-misconduct allegations.
Ecuadorean transgender people on Sunday voted for the first time according to their chosen gender, in what activists say are signs of progress in the socially conservative and Catholic Andean nation. In Ecuador, men and women wait in separate lines to cast their ballots, which for years created uncomfortable moments for transgender voters who had to queue up according to their biological sex. “The rumors would start, and the looks,” said LGBT activist Mariasol Mite, 32, who changed her ID description from “sex: male” to “gender: female” last year. Fears of harassment were such that voters would sometimes send their brothers or husbands to wait in line until they got close to the booth, according to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists. “This year, everything was different,” said Mite, adding that public officials and fellow voters were much more aware of the issue.
A runoff vote appears likely in Ecuador’s presidential election with Lenín Moreno appearing to fall just short of the 40% required for outright victory over his rightwing rival Guillermo Lasso. With more than three-quarters of the official votes counted on Sunday night, the national electoral council gave 38.83% to Moreno, who was a former vice-president under the outgoing Rafael Correa, and 28.58% Lasso, a 61-year-old former banker. For an outright win a candidate needs 40% and a 10-point lead over his nearest rival. The widely different results of two exit polls saw Moreno’s camp celebrating victory in the first round, while Lasso declared there would be a second round in which he would face the government’s candidate. Nonetheless Moreno’s supporters draped in lime-green colours of the Alianza Pais coalition celebrated late into the night to as live cumbia music blasted from a stage erected on a main avenue the headquarters in Quito. At the close of voting, Moreno, flanked by Correa and the vice-president, Jorge Glas, told his rival to “lose with dignity” while he would “win with humility”.
Rafael Correa has so dominated political life in Ecuador for 10 years that the election in many ways appears to be a referendum on his legacy. While the opposition criticizes Correa for dramatically expanding the size of the state at the expense of the private sector, excessive hiring of public servants, cracking down on freedom of the press, and ruling with an authoritarian style, supporters praise him for investing in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and transportation. However, every one seems to agree that Correa’s famed confrontational style worked to his detriment. The word often repeated here in reference to his administration is “prepotente”: indeed Lenin Moreno, Correa’s hand-picked successor herein faces his greatest electoral challenge: seeking to disassociate himself from the imperial nature and penchant for conflict of his mentor and predecessor.
Ten years ago, as Latin America’s “pink tide” reached its high-water mark, leftwing leaders such as Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa were in power across the continent. But death and election defeat have since culled their numbers and trimmed their power. Cuba is on a path of moderate reform after the death of Castro. Venezuela was lurching from one crisis to another even before Chávez succumbed to cancer in 2013. Morales’s days as president of Bolivia are also numbered after he failed in an attempt last year to change the constitution to allow him to run for re-election. This Sunday, Ecuador will also make a change, with the first presidential election in more than a decade not to be contested by Correa, who is stepping aside after winning three consecutive terms. Whether the country now follows the continental trend towards centre-right government or remains a bastion for the left is being contested in an unusually dirty campaign.
Julian Assange will be given a month’s notice to leave the Ecuadorian embassy if the country’s main opposition candidate wins the presidency in next week’s election. In an interview with the Guardian, Guillermo Lasso, of the rightwing Creo-Suma alliance, said it was time for the WikiLeaks founder to move on because his asylum was expensive and no longer justified. “The Ecuadorian people have been paying a cost that we should not have to bear,” he said during an interview in Quito. “We will cordially ask Señor Assange to leave within 30 days of assuming a mandate.” That possibility is still some way off. In the most recent poll, Lasso is seven points behind the ruling party candidate Lenín Moreno, but the former banker has been gaining ground ahead of the first round of voting on 19 February and is widely tipped to force a runoff. Even if there is no change in power in Quito, however, it seems increasingly likely that Assange will soon be moving from the cramped embassy in Knightsbridge that has been his refuge for more than four and a half years.
Ahead of the presidential elections, Ecuador is rolling out a plan to make it easier for people with disabilities to vote. For the upcoming presidential elections in Ecuador people with a disability will have preferential or home-assisted voting thanks to a plan promoted by the current leftist government of Rafael Correa. Ecuadoreans will elect their new president on Feb.19, and one of the candidates is disabled. Lenin Moreno served as Correa’s vice president from 2007 to 2013 and has been in a wheelchair since being shot in 1998. He has since served as special envoy on disability and accessibility at the United Nations.