Category: Ecuador
Lenin Moreno will Walk alongside Ecuadoreans
| April 3, 2017 | 9:32 pm | Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, political struggle | No comments

Por Sinay Cespedes Moreno

Quito, Apr 3 (Prensa Latina) Singing the verses written by Antonio Machado, with music by Joan Manuel Serrat: ”Walker there is no path, you make the path as you go”, Ecuadorean President-elect Lenin Moreno promised before thousands of people to keep the path of the Citizen”s Revolution.

Ecuador’s Moreno claims victory in presidential election, rival demands recount
| April 2, 2017 | 9:25 pm | Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, political struggle | No comments

https://www.rt.com/news/383167-ecuador-elections-moreno-lasso/

Ecuador’s Moreno claims victory in presidential election, rival demands recount
Lenin Moreno, the candidate of the ruling Alianza País Party in Ecuador appears to have secured a win in the second round of presidential elections, barely beating his rival, the conservative Guillermo Lasso who thus far has refused to concede.

With over 94 percent of the votes counted, Moreno is in the lead with 51.07 percent compared to 48.93 percent gained by his opponent Lasso, the country’s election commission reported. While the winner has not yet been officially announced, the government says preliminary results are 99% accurate and “irreversible” according to outgoing President Rafael Correa, who already congratulated Moreno.

READ MORE: ‘Fate of all Latin America being decided at Ecuador election’

“The revolution has triumphed again in Ecuador,” Correa said on Twitter. “The right has lost, despite its millions and its media.”

“They’ve toyed with popular will,” Lasso said on Sunday night, demanding a recount as earlier exit polls were split and projected different winners, prompting both candidates to claim victory.

The 64-year old Moreno, who has been in a wheelchair since 1998, ran on a campaign which promised the South American country a boost in social benefits. The nominee for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize served as vice president of the country from 2007 to 2013, under President Rafael Correa.

It was Correa, serving his third presidential term, who had nominated Moreno to run for the Alianza País socialist political movement in Ecuador.

His opponent Lasso, a 61-year-old former head of Banco de Guayaquil who has campaigned on creating one million jobs in four years, argues that Moreno’s generous social promises risk plunging Ecuador’s economy further into debt.

The conservative has also promised to evict WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the nation’s London embassy.

While Moreno has declared victory in a close runoff, Lasso has called for a vote recount, claiming that he is the real winner of the election.

Moreno urged for unity as he addressed his cheering supporters in Quito: “From now on, let’s work for the country! All of us!”

Moreno Winning Ecuador’s Presidential Election With 51% of Votes
| April 2, 2017 | 9:09 pm | Ecuador, political struggle | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/latam/201704031052222297-moreno-winning-ecuador-election/

03:50 03.04.2017(updated 05:05 03.04.2017) Get short URL

236050

Lenin Moreno, a candidate from Ecuador’s ruling PAIS Alliance party, is winning the country’s presidential elections with 51.04 percent of votes, the National Electoral Council said after having processed 91.88 percent of ballots.

MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — Moreno’s opponent Guillermo Lasso, a candidate from Ecuador’s opposition Creo-Suma alliance, is said to have got 48.96 percent of votes.

​​Lasso said following the announcement that Ecuador’s opposition may demand recount of votes in the presidential election, which is believed to be won by Lenin Moreno.

“They’ve toyed with popular will,” Lasso said on Sunday, as quoted by the Reuters news agency, adding that he would demand recount of each vote.

Moreno, the Ecuador’s former vice-president, was the leading candidate following the first round of the election that was held in February. At the time no candidate gained 50 percent of votes which is necessary to win at the first round of the election.

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With 93% Counted, Ecuador’s Lenin Says He Won Presidential Race
| April 2, 2017 | 8:19 pm | Analysis, Ecuador, political struggle | No comments

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/With-93-Counted-Ecuadors-Lenin-Says-He-Won-Presidential-Race-20170402-0026.html

With 93% Counted, Ecuador’s Lenin Says He Won Presidential Race

  • Lenin speaks to supporters in Quito.

    Lenin speaks to supporters in Quito. | Photo: Alianza Pais

Published 2 April 2017 (3 hours 54 minutes ago)

Although the CNE has not made an official announcement, with 93 percent of the vote in, Lenin is clearly ahead.

Polls closed in Ecuador’s presidential elections Sunday in the race between leftist candidate Lenin Moreno and right-wing banker-turned-candidate Guillermo Lasso and with 93 percent of total results posted on the National Election Council website, Lenin is ahead 51.05 percent to Lasso’s 48.95 percent. The CNE will make its first official bulletin at 8 pm local time.

RELATED:
‘Impossible’: Ecuador’s Electoral Missions Address Fraud Claims

In a speech to his supporters in central Quito, Lenin said that results are already substantial enough, without an official CNE tally, to project that he has won the decisive second round. “All Ecuadoreans won today!” he said to cheering applause, “We have beat the right.”

Nearly 12.5 million people, together with almost 400,000 emigrants around the world, cast their ballots in an election that is being characterized as one of contesting visions for the future of the country, and with regional implications.

Despite assurances from international observers, Lasso and his supporters have continued to invoke the dubious possibility of fraud, as they did in the first round, and his vice president candidate Andres Paez has even promoted demonstrations at the council’s headquarters in the capital Quito beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time.

IN DEPTH:
Ecuador Elections 2017

Gerardo de Icaza, director of the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation at the Organization of American States, told teleSUR Wednesday that there was no evidence of fraud in the first round.

Running for the Alianza PAIS of current President Rafael Correa, Moreno is promising to continue and expand social programs while stimulating the economy through public investments.

Lasso, who leads a coalition of opposition parties, has pledged major tax cuts, privatizations and a neoliberal overhaul of the economy.

The former financial minister is also linked to a 1999 financial crisis where hundreds of thousands of Ecuadoreans lost their savings.

Left or Right? Ecuadoreans Vote in Decisive Presidential Race
| April 2, 2017 | 3:42 pm | Ecuador, political struggle | No comments

Left or Right? Ecuadoreans Vote in Decisive Presidential Race

IN PICTURES: Ecuadoreans head to the polls to decide between staying on a progressive path or turning to the neoliberal right

Close to 12.5 million Ecuadoreans, together with almost 400,000 emigrants around the world, were eligible to cast their ballots Sunday in an election that is being characterized as one of contesting visions for the future of the country.

Running for the PAIS Alliance of current President Rafael Correa, progressive candidate Lenin Moreno is promising to continue and expand social programs while stimulating the economy through public investments. Former banker Guillermo Lasso, who leads a coalition of opposition parties, has pledged major tax cuts and privatizations as the pillars to his promise for creating 1 million jobs.

Exit polls are expected shortly after polls close at 5:00 p.m. local time.

A man casts his vote in a school used as a polling station during the presidential election, in Guayaquil.
A man casts his vote in a school used as a polling station during the presidential election, in Guayaquil. Photo:Reuters
People stand outside a school used as a polling station during the presidential election, in Guayaquil.
People stand outside a school used as a polling station during the presidential election, in Guayaquil. Photo:Reuters
Officials of the National Electoral Council attend the home of Margarita Guaman two days ahead of the election as part of the "vote at home" services for people with disabilities.
Officials of the National Electoral Council attend the home of Margarita Guaman two days ahead of the election as part of the “vote at home” services for people with disabilities. Photo:EFE
Lenin Moreno and his wife Rocio Gonzalez wave after Moreno casted his vote during the presidential election in Quito.
Lenin Moreno and his wife Rocio Gonzalez wave after Moreno casted his vote during the presidential election in Quito. Photo:EFE
Guillermo Lasso casts his ballot in Guayaquil, calling for peaceful voting in an election he described as "crucial."
Guillermo Lasso casts his ballot in Guayaquil, calling for peaceful voting in an election he described as “crucial.” Photo:EFE
President Rafael Correa casts his vote in Quito, stressing that the election is not only important for Ecuador, but for all of Latin America.
President Rafael Correa casts his vote in Quito, stressing that the election is not only important for Ecuador, but for all of Latin America. Photo:Reuters
Supporters of governing party candidate Lenin Moreno shout slogans as he casts his vote in Quito.
Supporters of governing party candidate Lenin Moreno shout slogans as he casts his vote in Quito. Photo:EFE
Chief of the Unasur election mission, former Uruguayan President Jose "Pepe" Mujica, attends a meeting in Guayaquil the day ahead of the election.
Chief of the Unasur election mission, former Uruguayan President Jose “Pepe” Mujica, attends a meeting in Guayaquil the day ahead of the election. Photo:EFE
Governing party candidate Lenin Moreno has promised to continue the social programs and progressive policies championed over the past decade by President Rafael Correa and the Citizen
Governing party candidate Lenin Moreno has promised to continue the social programs and progressive policies championed over the past decade by President Rafael Correa and the Citizen’s Revolution. Photo:EFE
Conservative opposition candidate and former banker Guillermo Lasso has promised widespread privatization and tax cuts as the basis for creating 1 million jobs.
Conservative opposition candidate and former banker Guillermo Lasso has promised widespread privatization and tax cuts as the basis for creating 1 million jobs. Photo:EFE
Residents walk as soldiers stand near the Electoral National Council  headquarters prior to Sunday presidential election in Quito.
Residents walk as soldiers stand near the Electoral National Council headquarters prior to Sunday presidential election in Quito. Photo:Reuters

Published 2 April 2017
In Ecuador, Lasso’s Campaign Caught Promising ‘Jobs’ for Votes
| March 31, 2017 | 7:17 pm | Analysis, Ecuador, Lenin Moreno | No comments

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/In-Ecuador-Lassos-Campaign-Caught-Promising-Jobs-for-Votes-20170330-0022.html

  • Ecuadorean presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso

    Ecuadorean presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso | Photo: EFE

TheWorldToday

“My fellow Ecuadoreans, why are we letting a banker humiliate us like this?” asked activist Ebi Camacho.

For weeks, Ecuador’s right-wing opposition has accused the government of foul play ahead of Sunday’s presidential election. Today, they were caught red-handed committing the same crimes they accuse the leftist government of doing.

RELATED:
Analyst: If Elected, Guillermo Lasso Will Destabilize Ecuador

Ecuadorean activist Ebi Camacho released a video Thursday showing presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso’s campaign workers offering “jobs” to Quito residents in exchange for vote pledges, which violates the country’s laws.

According to Article 204 of Ecuador’s Code of Democracy, “candidates and political organizations can not give donations or gifts to citizens.”

But it gets even worse. The so-called “jobs” that Lasso’s campaign was offering to Quito residents were a total lie. Camacho found thousands of completed “job” applications in trash cans near Lasso’s campaign headquarters.

“My fellow Ecuadoreans, why are we letting a banker humiliate us like this?” Camacho asked in the video.

“We (our government) have many tasks to complete, but it’s not worth seeing our dreams and hopes, in the form of thousands of names, in the garbage.”

This isn’t the first time Lasso’s campaign has come under fire for questionable, and possibly criminal, campaign tactics.

RELATED:
Lasso Wants Ecuador to Be Paramilitary State: Colombian Analyst

On Monday, his campaign was caught giving out free Lasso-branded basic food products to voters in a move that many have likened to vote-buying. If investigated, he can be charged with violating Article 204 as well.

Lasso campaigners gave the branded bread and milk to citizens in northern Quito, one of the city’s poorest areas. According to witnesses, people were told by supporters of Lasso’s CREO party to vote for the banker-turned-politician, while claiming that there will be fraud in the April 2 vote.

“We reject such practices. They undermine the values of democracy, participation and respect for people,” rival Alianza Pais presidential candidate Lenin Moreno said in a statement.

“We demand the CNE prohibit this type of practice and activate the respective control mechanisms, as mandated by the Code of Democracy.”

The banker has also been accused of helping to create Ecuador’s 1999 banking crisis, which left millions impoverished, forced millions to leave the country, while a few wealthy elite, including Lasso, got up to 30 times wealthier.

‘Impossible’: Ecuador’s Electoral Missions Address Fraud Claims
| March 31, 2017 | 7:10 pm | Analysis, Ecuador, political struggle | No comments

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Impossible-Ecuadors-Electoral-Missions-Address-Baseless-Fraud-Claims-20170329-0042.html

‘Impossible’: Ecuador’s Electoral Missions Address Fraud Claims

  • People hold signs reading

    People hold signs reading ‘No to fraud’ and ‘(Election) Run-off now’ as they protest near the electoral council in Guayaquil, Ecuador Feb. 20, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

While the right-wing candidate claims the Correa government is rigging the elections, all observer missions flatly reject any such allegations.

Just few hours into the tight first round of Ecuador’s presidential race between left-wing candidate Lenin Moreno and his right-wing opponent Guillermo Lasso, the conservative opposition began to promote the unsubstantiated claim that the elections authorities in the country were committing fraud in favor of the ruling party PAIS Alliance and its wheelchair-bound candidate.

RELATED:
Analyst: If Elected, Guillermo Lasso Will Destabilize Ecuador

The fantastic assertion came despite the fact that 200 election observers were present at polling stations around Ecuador. Lasso and his running mate Andres Paez personally accused Juan Pablo Pozo, the head of the National Electoral Council, of personally overseeing the alleged fraud, predicated on the election officials refusal to declare whether candidates would head to a second round.

“Mr. Pozo is a well-educated and polite gentleman, but he only responds to the interests of his boss,” Lasso said referring to outgoing President Rafael Correa.

In various press conferences, Pozo had said that due to the fact that the race was tight, his council would take its time counting votes and resolving “irregularities” before announcing the final official results, a process that could take up to three days after the vote.

But for the banker and former finance minister, those three days were tantamount to a “shameless” attempt by the government and the council to “get their hands” in the election results.

Moreno finished the first round with 39.2 percent of all votes, just short of the required 40 percent and 10-point difference to avoid a runoff, as Lasso fell behind in second place with almost 28.3 percent of the votes.

As soon as the results were released showing that Moreno had won the round but would face a second round contest against Lasso, observer missions began releasing information about the voting, flatly dismissing any suggestion of fraud and hailing the transparency of the process.

“The Mission has not observed evidence of fraud,” Gerardo de Icaza, director for the Department for Electoral Cooperation and Observation at the Organization of American States, told teleSUR Wednesday from Washington D.C., adding that “any allegation of fraud should be supported by evidence,” which Lasso’s campaign has failed to do.

De Icaza further noted that the National Electoral Council (CNE) “has taken measures, some of them recommended by the OAS, to improve the process and make it more reliable and transparent.”

Also following the first round’s results, the electoral mission of the Union of South American Nations, Unasur, rejected the fraud claims with the head of the mission, Alexander Vega, arguing that delay in the release of final results is a normal vote-counting procedure and called for people to be calm and wait for the final results.

Vega also clarified that despite his claims to supporters and media, Lasso did not actually file a protest to electoral authorities.

“No one has claimed fraud,” Vega said on Feb. 21 just two days after elections day, adding that it is difficult to believe “that the National Electoral Council would have invited more than 200 observers for a fraud.”

RELATED:
50 Experts Warn of Neoliberal Threat in Ecuador Before Election

He added that the Ecuadorean system is “so transparent that whoever wins can download the transcripts, add the votes and will get the same result.”

The election mission of the OAS had also issued a report praising the government and the election authority for the transparency of the process and the steps taken to improve voting.

Leonel Fernandez, the head of 66 election observers from the OAS held a press conference in the capital Quito on Feb. 23 sharing with reporters his mission’s findings. “On election day, OAS observers visited 375 polling stations in 17 provinces of the country,” Fernandez told reporters reading from the report. “Despite some inconveniences during the elections, the mission observed progress in the organization and administration of elections and recognizes the efforts made by officials at the National Electoral Council (CNE) led by its president Juan Pablo Pozo.”

He further hailed the measures adopted to expand the exercise of political rights for all Ecuadoreans “through mechanisms like voting from home and voting in prisons” and “the special assistance for people with disabilities, the elderly, and pregnant.”

The OAS report also shut down any claims of fraud stressing that allegations of already marked ballots were highly isolated incidents and that only three people have come forward regarding such cases.

“Despite social networks echoing this situation, the truth is these were isolated cases and these votes were not counted,” said the former president of the Dominican Republic.

While mounting evidence in fact confirms that the first round of the presidential elections was fraud-free, Lasso and Paez have continued to reiterate their allegations, and have even threatened to overturn the election of PAIS Alliance legislators once in office.

These persistent actions from opposition politicians have raised concerns that they will once again claim fraud in the second round – in spite of lacking evidence – in an effort to rally their supporters

Speaking during a CNE workshop held with representatives from the electoral missions in Quito on March 20, Vega said it was “impossible” to have fraud in the next round of the vote on April 2, calling the opposition’s warnings about a possible fraud in the next round “reckless” and urging all political actors to be calm and responsible.

While fraud is out of the question in the upcoming vote, observers say that as in the first round irregularities are expected to occur.

RELATED:
Ecuador Elections: Housing, Poverty Reduction Will Drive Moreno’s Government

In the first round the ruling party PAIS Alliance had submitted complaints to the election authorities regarding such incidents, which observers say are common part of any election and fundamentally different than fraud.

De Icaza defined irregularities as “mistakes” or “Isolated electoral offences, such as vote buying” adding that such incidents occur in every electoral process. “These are normally isolated and do not have the scope and width to alter the results of an election.”

When such incidents take place and are detected by observers at poll stations “we report any irregularities we observe and we hand any complaints we receive to the competent electoral authorities.”

While irregularities are isolated events, fraud is “the systematic intention to alter results and the will of the people,” the OAS election expert argued.

When asked about when electoral missions begin to worry about irregularities he said when they “become generalized and there is a clear and systematic intention to alter the results of the election we can talk of fraud.”

Such a situation could easily be discovered in the Ecuadorian elections because it “is being very closely observed by political parties, the media, civil society organizations and national and international observers,” he concluded.