Noticia

Ecuador: How Correa and Lenin Stole the Election

Rafael Correa has practically abandoned all pretense of democracy.

Latinvex 20/04/2017

Lenin Moreno and Rafael Correa.  Ángel Polibio Córdova, CEDATOS’s owner, said that never in the more than 40 years that it has conducted exit polls were the final results so different from the exit poll. Foto: Latinvex

Lenin Moreno and Rafael Correa. Ángel Polibio Córdova, CEDATOS’s owner, said that never in the more than 40 years that it has conducted exit polls were the final results so different from the exit poll. Foto: Latinvex

While president Rafael Correa and Lenin Moreno, his heir apparent, are moving quickly to impose another four years of leftwing populism on Ecuador, conservative challenger Guillermo Lasso (CREO), with strong support from street protestors, is trying to obtain a recount to keep his drive to become president alive. While his effort faces gallingly unfair institutional hurdles, the staying power of street demonstrators will be important if he can hope to have all votes reviewed by hand in the end. Moreno and Correa meanwhile appear bent on derailing Lasso regardless of the cost, including saddling Moreno with an immense legitimacy problem amid a severely challenging economic environment. 


Already, the National Electoral Council (CNE), whose president, Juan Pablo Pozo, has so little sense of political decorum that he on election night thanked the Lord for holding high office as a contemporary of Correa, has rejected the fraud allegations presented by CREO. Nonetheless, Lasso this week formally filed for a complete recount, well aware that the CNE, the first instance, is judge and jury. The complaint names three main problems with the counting of the results:

Firstly, the inaccessibility of the CNE web site early in the evening. CREO notes irregularities with ballots totaling 1.1m votes (according to the CNE, Moreno won by approximately 230,000 votes, giving him a majority of 51.15 percent). These issues consisted in problems with signatures and numerical inconsistencies including votes for Lasso that were counted as votes for Moreno and differences between the numbers of voters and votes. As we reported last week, in close to 5 percent of polling stations, Moreno obtained statistically improbable returns of around 80 percent of votes. CREO also questions the CNE’s software, including what the party calls a “fatal error” in that the total vote fails to match the total number of voters overall. “This means that the CNE information technology system does not reject the mistaken data when they are entered by the digitizers,” which a proper system would, indicating “that there is no integrity of the information in the database the CNE is charged with” protecting. 

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