International election observers didn’t find evidence of fraud in Ecuador’s presidential vote, the Organization of American States said on Monday, despite claims from the opposition that it was cheated after the ruling party’s candidate declared victory in a narrow race.
With 99.5% of the votes counted on Monday, Lenin Moreno, Ecuador’s leftist former vice president, had 51.17% support compared with 48.83% for conservative ex-banker Guillermo Lasso, according to the national electoral council, which hasn’t officially declared a winner.
“There were no discrepancies between the analyzed ballots and the official data,” the Washington, D.C.-based OAS said in a statement. The organization sent 77 observers to 480 polling stations across Ecuador, including at the electoral council’s data center.
The official results accurately represent the “will of the people,” a senior international observer said on Monday.
According to the official statement from OAS, the Mission compared the information on results collected by its observers at the polling stations with the information contained in the statements of poll published by the CNE. It noted that there were no discrepancies between the statements of poll observed and the official data. The observers reported that when the polls closed, delegates from both political organizations were present at almost all the polling stations observed, and these delegates were given a copy of the official statement of poll once the votes had been counted.
Recognizing that the CNE is the only institution with the legal authority to present official results of the electoral process, the Mission abides by these results, with due recognition of the fact that those who wish to challenge them have the right to do so.
The OAS/EOM takes note of the complaints made public by Alianza CREO-SUMA. For these complaints to be cleared up, they should go through institutional channels and should be handled by the competent authorities, following the principles of legality, certainty, and transparency. Freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate are fundamental rights, but they should always be exercised in a peaceful framework, avoiding violence and confrontations.
The Mission will remain on the ground in the coming days. The OAS/EOM has accompanied the electoral process in Ecuador since January, deploying a total of 143 observers. The Mission will present a report to the OAS Permanent Council with recommendations based on its observations of the general elections and the second round of the presidential election”.
OAS also points out that the Mission was led by former President of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernandez, it deployed 77 observers in 19 provinces of the country for the second round of the presidential election. During the pre-electoral stage, the OAS/EOM met with the teams of the two candidate tickets that were on the ballot, as well as with electoral authorities, government officials, and representatives of civil society and the diplomatic community.
On Election Day, OAS observers visited 480 voting centers, where they observed the process from the opening of the polling stations until the counting of the ballots. Later, they witnessed the transfer of the statements of poll to the area where they would be scanned and transmitted, and the processing of these at the provincial election boards. Mission experts were also present at the Command Center, the CNE Data Center, the ITC Monitoring Center, and ECU911.