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President’s Handpicked Successor Claims Victory in Ecuador as Opposition Candidate Cries Foul

LADB Article ID: 80271
Category/Department: Ecuador
Date: 2017-04-21
By: Luis Ángel Saavedra

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa’s handpicked successor, Lenín Moreno, was declared the winner of the April 2 presidential elections with 51.15% of the vote. But two weeks later, Moreno has not been able to overcome the uncertainty caused by the way the Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Council, CNE) handled the vote count and by the contradicting results presented by three pollsters, who gave the win to Guillermo Lasso, the opposition candidate. Lasso has charged there was election fraud.At the end of the first electoral round, Moreno was just shy of the 40% that would allow him to win outright––he had 39.36% and Lasso, 28.09%. For the runoff, the Moreno and Lasso waged an aggressive campaign unlike any seen in Ecuador since its return to democracy in 1979. The government itself launched a defamation campaign against Lasso, connecting him to the 1999 bank holiday that led the country to bankruptcy. Lasso was unable to refute accusations made in the official media because to do so, he would have had to expose the real culprits who were, in great part, linked to the Partido Social Cristiano (Social Christian Party, PSC), a party that had promised to support him in the second round of voting.

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