At the request of the indigenous candidate Yaku Pérez, the National Electoral Council of Ecuador agreed to recount 45% of the votes cast in the first round of the presidential election on February 7. A decision hailed by Washington, but which worries the left.
While a wave of concern invades the international left following the decision to recount the votes of the first round of the presidential election in Ecuador, after an agreement between the National Electoral Council (CNE) and the presidential candidates Yaku Pérez and Guillermo Lasso, the United States came to reinforce this anxiety by applauding the agreement.
In a tweet, Julie Chung, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the US State Department, said: “The US government applauds the CNE’s announcement […] This allows the electoral process to move forward with reinforced guarantees for both candidates and citizens. ”
The US government applauds the February 12 announcement by @cnegobec to verify votes in 17 provinces in Ecuador’s February 7 presidential election.
This allows the electoral process to advance with enhanced guarantees to the candidates and citizens alike.
– Julie Chung (@WHAAsstSecty) February 14, 2021
“Such transparency – with clear rules and in the presence of party representatives, as well as national and international observers – guarantees public confidence in the results,” added Julie Chung.
A decision “without legal basis”
Some six million ballots, or 45% of the votes cast in the first round of the presidential election in Ecuador, will be recounted at the request of candidate Yaku Pérez, who says he was the victim of “fraud”, according to an announcement by the authority. election, February 12. Yaku Pérez, candidate of Pachakutik, political arm of the Ecuadorian indigenous movement, is given third in the first round of the election with 19.38% of the vote, just behind the right-wing candidate Guillermo Lasso (19.74%) who supports the demand recount.
The actions of the CNE are unprecedented, random and without legal justification. We will not allow a coup
However, some international observers, particularly those on the left, warn against the lack of a legal basis for this agreement for a recount and fear an attempt to destabilize Andrés Arauz, who came widely in the first round with 32.71% of the vote. .
“Those who co-governed with [le président sortant Lenin] Moreno knows they are losers and are pressuring me to persecute me with crass lies. They will not be able to do it, the truth still prevails, ”tweeted Andrés Arauz, the target of a number of attacks since becoming the favorite in the election. “They will not be able to continue to blackmail or cheat the justice system. The Ecuadorian people will not allow another blow against democracy, ”added the runner-up to ex-president Rafael Correa (2007-2017).
Los que han cogobernado con Moreno se saben perdedores y presionan para que me persigan con burdas mentiras. No podrán lograrlo, la verdad siempre prevalece
No podrán seguir chantajeando o engañando a la justicia
El pueblo ecuatoriano no permitirá un nuevo golpe a la democracia
– Andrés Arauz (@ecuarauz) February 13, 2021
“What evidence has been presented to justify the count?”
In a tweet, Spanish MEP Idoia Villanueva, member of Podemos, said: “What we are seeing in Ecuador is unheard of. Candidates Pérez and Lasso reach an agreement with the CNE to review 100% of the votes of [la région de] Guayas and 50% of 16 [autres] provinces. Random and without legal basis. What role does the CNE play in this regard? Who decides, who watches? ” In a second message, the MEP asks: “What evidence has been presented to justify the count? What electoral standard were they based on? ”
“The actions of the CNE are unprecedented, random and without legal justification. We will not authorize a coup d’etat ”, added the Progressive International (IP), an international group of leftist political movements. “We urge the CNE electoral authorities to act in strict compliance with the law and to ensure the normal continuation of the electoral process. The recounts must protect the security of the votes and not the interests of certain political forces ”, warned the Puebla group, an Ibero-American and Caribbean organization with more than 50 leaders and ex-leaders from 17 countries – including Lula, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and Alberto Fernandez.
Indeed, if it is not the small difference of votes which separates the two candidates for the second place which will lead one or the other to the second round against Arauz, no evidence of irregularity was presented nor denounced by the large number of international observers present throughout Ecuador to ensure the regularity of the ballot. Even the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS), which had actively worked to facilitate the coup in Bolivia in 2019, reported no dysfunction. Its leader, Luis Almagro, however congratulated the two candidates for their dialogue and their agreement with a view to the recount.
The Union for Hope (UNES), the coalition that nominated the Correist candidate Andrés Arauz, has also expressed its concerns that the electoral process will degenerate. “There could be a confrontation between the two political forces […] The decision of the Ecuadorians must above all be respected and no act of violence generated, ”warned the deputy of this movement Esteban Melo Garzón.
The second round of the presidential election, scheduled for April 11, will appoint the successor to Lenin Moreno, an unpopular president whose four-year term expires on May 24, the date of the future president’s inauguration.