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.
Country Alliance Assembly Member-Elect, Jose Serrano said: “We embrace the challenge put forward by the CREO SUMA movement to review the 1,795 ballots by the National Electoral Council. And we ask that body this review to be done immediately, in a public setting, before the national and international media. And before delegates from the two political parties to demonstrate, once more, that they are lying to the country that there was a fraud of public faith, that they are inciting violence and trying to sew chaos in our beloved Ecuador. Enough of the violence.”
Doris Solis, General Secretary of the ruling party said: “The vote recount, which we are backing, and ask the National Electoral Council for, should be done as soon as possible. This exercise should strengthen Ecuadorean democracy, and forever isolate all the liars and wrongdoers who our nation doesn’t deserve.”
Since the election result was announced, there have been violent protests across Ecuador.
One man who will certainly not join the protests is Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, whom Guillermo Lasso promised to eject from the Ecuadorian embassy in London should he come to power.
But president-elect Moreno on Thursday reminded Assange that as a condition for the asylum granted him in 2012 he's not allowed to meddle in politics. The stern warning was in response to Assange's celebrating the results of Sunday's presidential runoff with a blast on Twitter at losing candidate Guillermo Lasso.
I cordially invite Lasso to leave Ecuador within 30 days, Assange wrote, alluding to allegations the banker had stashed money abroad. Assange later apologized but blamed Lasso for starting the feud.