Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa accused opposition groups Monday of manipulating the vote count in a referendum as his margin of victory narrowed on planned media, banking and judicial reforms. Certain provinces “are refusing to include their vote data in the national count in a protest to claim that there is a dead heat” on at least two media-related reforms, Correa said at a news conference.
But “no, there is no dead heat to be seen anywhere” he insisted, claiming his government swept the 10-question referendum with a wide margin of victory in most provinces of the South American country of more than 13 million. Opposition groups meanwhile called for a recount, pointing to inconsistencies in the results.
“It is essential, and that was our request to the National Electoral Council, to open all ballot boxes and recount the votes in those records where there are inconsistencies,” said Cesar Montufar, leader of the National Coalition movement.
He pointed to an “unprecedented number of records that are not being processed” for inconsistencies, especially in provinces with higher numbers of voters. “It is extremely worrying,” Montufar told AFP.
But monitors from the Organization of American States were unfazed. “We are informed of how things are going at polling stations. We do not have evidence of any fraud,” said lead OAS monitor Enrique Correa.
Full Article: AFP: Correa accuses opposition of vote manipulation.