Ecuador’s National Electoral Council, the CNE, announced on Thursday that over 1.2 million votes will be recounted, representing 12 percent of the total votes from this month's second round presidential election, where socialist candidate from the ruling Alianza PAIS Lenin Moreno was declared the winner.
“We decided to make the recount of the 3,865 electoral rolls, equivalent to 1,250,400 votes. Let's open the polls to tell the country the truth,” CNE head Juan Pablo Pozo said.
The CNE said that only those votes which were disputed on a technical basis would be recounted in a public display in Quito on April 18.
Socialist Lenin Moreno won the April 2 second round with a 51.15 percent share – more than 226,000 votes or 2 percent ahead of right-wing banker and candidate from the CREO party Guillermo Lasso.
The CNE has declared Moreno the winner and the Organization of American States recorded no problems with the elections, while other countries swiftly congratulated Moreno on his victory. But Lasso and opposition supporters have continued to call out fraud, basing their claims largely on favorable, and indeed pro-opposition exit polls that predicted Lasso an early winner.
Opposition supporters have lit fires and blocked off streets around the country and for almost two weeks parked themselves outside the CNE headquarters in Quito.
Lasso and his party have refused to accept the election result. In a statement, the defeated candidate said, “We will not accept anything less than the opening of all ballot boxes for the recount of all votes.”
The CNE, however, says that there is no legal basis to justify a full legal recount.
Since a previous recount on Tuesday, where Lasso lost 100 votes and Moreno gained 143 votes, the defeated right-wing candidate has been noticeably quieter in the media.
Following the announcement of yet another recount, outgoing President Rafael Correa tweeted that the next week’s planned recount was “something unheard of by the CNE to again decide to end the show of Lasso, for the elections that the banker could not buy.”
Moreno, who previously served under Correa's government will take over the presidency on May 24.