The Organization of American States Electoral Observation Mission (OAS/EOM) to the general elections and referendum that will be held in Ecuador on February 19 began its deployment this week.
The team, headed by former president of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernández, is comprised of 60 international observers and experts in electoral organization and technology, campaign financing, electoral registry, gender, and electoral justice, among others.
The Chief of Mission travelled to Ecuador on a preliminary visit in January to learn about the preparations for the elections and to meet with the different actors of the process. On January 22 and February 5, OAS experts also observed election simulations in Guayaquil and Quito.
This will be the eighteenth electoral process the OAS has observed in Ecuador since 1968.
At next Sunday's election Ecuadorians will be voting for president and vice-president, legislative representatives at national and provincial level, members of the Andean Parliament and in a referendum referred to civil servants holding bank accounts and/or companies in tax havens.
Under the Ecuadorean constitution the winning presidential ticket must obtain 50% plus one of ballots or 40% of ballots and a ten percentage points difference over the runner up to avoid a runoff on 2 April 2017, which according to opinion polls this seems to be the most probable scenario.
The winning ticket takes office on May 24.