Ecuadorean Presidential Election Run-Off Announced
by Stephen Lendman
On Wednesday, Ecuador's electoral commission announced a run-off to choose President Rafael Correa's successor.
On April 2, ruling Alianza PAIS candidate Lenin Moreno will face banker turned politician Guillermo Lasso. Moreno barely fell short of a 40% threshold to win in first round February 19 voting - 39.4% to Lasso's 28.1%.
He's favored to win in round two. Correa alleged possible electoral irregularities and incomplete vote tallies in six provinces Alianza PAIS historically won.
Constitutional law lets the president and parliament call for new elections under extreme circumstances, including in cases of suspected fraud.
"If the opposition wins, and if they want to destroy everything we've won, there exists the (so-called) cross-death law" permitting new elections. "We have a majority in the Assembly and in a year we could see (the opposition) again," Correa said.
If Lasso wins round two fraudulently, Correa's government is constutionally obligated to call for new elections.
Finishing third on February 19, conservative candidate Cynthia Viteri called on her supporters to back Lasso.
Correa believes voters will elect Moreno to continue his agenda. Expect hard-fought campaigning between now and April 2.
Elected three times, Correa served as Ecuador's president since January 15, 2007. Moreno praised his governance, saying he served with "dignity and transparency," promising to continue his policies.
On February 19, Lasso complained about electoral irregularities in round one voting, providing no corroborating evidence - claiming he won and will "defend this victory," urging his supporters to stay mobilized and keep protesting.
In response, Moreno said "(i)t's striking to me that there is a loser politician out there calling for violence. This can't be tolerated. We're a nation of peace and we want to continue that way."
He'll respect the electoral outcome when it's over. On April 2, he and Lasso will vie to succeed Correa as Ecuador's next president.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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