THE National Electoral Council of Ecuador (CNE) ratified Lenin Moreno as the winner of the second round of the presidential elections in Ecuador, with 51.16 percent of the votes. Moreno, the representative of Ecuadorian governing Movimiento Alianza Pais, contested the presidential elections with Jorge Glas, as his running mate for the post of vice-president.
The final report by the CNE showed that at the time of the end of the vote counting, with 99.65 percent of the total of the votes counted, the ruling party candidates Moreno and Jorge Glas, have the support of more than 5.57 million Ecuadorian voters. The opposition (CREO-SUMA) candidates, Guillermo Lasso and Andrés Páez, secured the support of 4,827,753 voters, and are placed second in the elections, with 48.84 percent of the votes.
Announcing the results, CNE president Juan Pablo Pozo said that 82.89 percent of the Ecuadorians voted in the elections out of the 12,816,698 voters qualified for the vote.
In all the electoral boards in the nation and in the special ones outside the country for the non-resident Ecuadorians to vote, scrutiny and public hearings were undertaken in the presence of the representatives of two political formations to ensure fair elections, Pozo stressed.
Lenin Moreno won by wide margin in 11 of 24 Ecuadoran provinces and in the most populated localities, except the capital city Quito and largest city Guayaquil.
The president-elect thanked the citizens for the support expressed to him through their vote in the electoral colleges, and repeated his commitment to work for the whole country, especially, in favor of the poorest people. “We want to dignify politics, to be a good example for citizens, especially for our youth,” Moreno said in a press conference in Quito after the CNE announced the official results.
Moreno is set to continue and expand social programmes introduced under outgoing President Rafael Correa, for whom Lenin served as vice president from 2007 to 2013, before working as the UN special envoy for disability and accessibility.
Moreno who has been wheelchair bound after being shot and paralysed in 1998, is well known for his advocacy work for people with disabilities and supporting public education. Jorge Glas, who also served in the Correa administration, will now serve as vice president. The new administration will be officially inaugurated on May 24.
As Rafael Correa departs after 10 years of consecutive rule and a number of social gains made under the Citizens’ Revolution, the victory for Moreno is seen as key not only for Ecuador but for the wider Latin American region. Ecuador will remain a part of the pink tide that has swept the region in the past two decades, not following the right-wing shift that took place in 2016 in Argentina and Brazil.
“This is a positive endorsement of our plan to create a more equal Ecuador," said Ecuadorean foreign minister Guillaume Long in response to the results. "We have made great strides in social progress in the past decade and we will now continue to do so for the next four years."
After decades of social and economic instability including the frequent changing of presidents, Alianza Pais under Correa lifted more than one million people out of poverty, tripled tax income and expanded the country’s universal health care and education system.
April 7 election was the second round of voting after Moreno fell short by less than 0.7 percent on February 19 to win in the first round. “It’s a decisive moment for the region because of the extreme right-wing’s reaction in the last years. Ecuadorean elections are very important,” said Correa while voting.
Moreno’s supporters who gathered from the early afternoon celebrated in the central-north of Quito, outside the headquarters of Alianza Pais.
The election was overseen by international observers including former Uruguayan President Jose Pepe Mujica, working with the UNASUR electoral mission. Mujica confirmed that the voting had been transparent.
Despite the CNE and international observers announcing that there were no issues with voting, similar to the first round of voting in February, rumors of voting fraud were circulated on social media by the opposition. The losing candidate, Guillermo Lasso, and followers, refused to accept the results and indulged in violent acts.