Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

Ecuador's Opposition Presidential Candidate Insists on Recount After Loss

Ecuador's Opposition Presidential Candidate Insists on Recount After Loss

Socialist Lenin Moreno has been declared the victor of Ecuador's closely contested presidential election.

"We are going to be with the Ecuadorian people" to defend the votes, Lasso said.

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He said Moreno won slightly over 51 per cent of the vote, compared with 49 per cent for opposition challenger Guillermo Lasso, who is contesting the results over allegations of fraud.

"We will contest the results as soon as they are officially declared", Lasso told a news conference. Moreno appeared to have won Ecuador's presidential election but his conservative rival refused to recognize the results on Monday, calling on his supporters to take to the streets to guard against fraud. It presented three such examples and said it would dispute results at the voting centers, some of which Moreno won by a 4-to-1 margin.

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Part of the problem is the opposition's distrust of the National Electoral Council, which it says has become an appendage of the executive in the way the electoral board in Venezuela has all but lost independence under socialist President Nicolas Maduro, a key ally of Ecuador's current president, Rafael Correa.

The Organization of American States said its 400 observers did not see a single incident of fraud and very few irregularities and as far as they were concerned, the process was transparent and clean.

Despite resounding praise for the transparency of Sunday's vote from global observation missions, right-wing former candidate and banker Lasso has contested the outcome of the vote on unsubstantiated claims of fraud, calling for a recount.

He confirmed Moreno's win was irreversible with 99.65 of the ballots counted. Moreno said he would allow him to stay.

Many voters had said they favoured change amid ongoing corruption allegations related to bribes that Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht paid to officials in Correa's government and a $12 million contracting scandal at state-run PetroEcuador.

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