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Recount to decide runoff election ticket in Ecuador

Recount to decide runoff election ticket in Ecuador

Recount to decide runoff election ticket in Ecuador

Election authorities in Ecuador ruled Tuesday thousands of ballot boxes must be reviewed, with the candidate to face frontrunner Andrés Arauz in a runoff still undecided.

Left-leaning former minister Arauz, candidate for the Union for Hope, was the clear winner of Sunday’s election after receiving 32.2% of the vote.

The result gave Arauz, seen as a disciple of former president Rafael Correa, a spot in the April 11 runoff.

His opponent is less clear, with Indigenous environmental activist Yaku Pérez narrowly ahead of conservative banker Guillermo Lasso, by 20.12% to 19.48%.

The three leading candidates on Tuesday met with electoral observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) and Ecuador National Electoral Council (CNE) authorities.

More than 3,770 ballot boxes need to be reviewed for irregularities, the CNE said Tuesday.

Pérez said he had “confidence” in the vote counting process due to the OAS mission’s involvement.

Meanwhile, Lasso said he would wait for 100% of ballots to be counted and the official word of the CNE.

Because the margin is so small, and about 1.5 million votes have to be recounted, it could be days before the second candidate is determined, a local newspaper reported.

Ecuador is in the throes of a deep economic crisis due to the drop in oil prices and the pandemic.

The country’s GDP plummeted by 11% in 2020, accompanied by a sharp rise in poverty and unemployment.

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