On Sunday the 19th of February Ecuador held its first real presidential elections since Rafael Correa became president of Ecuador on the 15th of January, 2007.
It were interesting elections, because two of the most popular candidates were the Banker Guillermo Lasso and Lenín Moreno. Lenín from the political party Alianza Pais, is considered to be not much more than ‘a puppet’ of the actual president Rafael Correa. So if Lenín wins the elections, it will show that most Ecuadorians still support the often controversial policy of Correa…
At the elections there were a total of 8 candidates representing 8 different parties.
To win the elections in the first round a candidate in Ecuador has to win at least 40% of the votes and with a difference of more than 10% from the second candidate.
Often this doesn’t happen and then there will be a second round. During the second round only the two winners from the first round have to compete for the presidency.
After 80% of the votes were counted on Monday morning, Lenín had about 39% of the voted and Lasso 28%. Most people thought that Lenín would win this 1% and with this the elections without a second round. But they also knew that if Lenín wouldn’t gain the first round, it will be likely that everybody who doesn’t like Correa, would gather together in the second round to vote against Lenín. Like what happened in Peru with Fujimori…
When Lenín was still at 39.28% after 90% of the votes were counted, the proponents of Correa and Lenín came with stories about fraud and that 5% of the votes would have to be considered invalid. According to some old law, this would mean that a presidential candidate only needs a max. of 39% of the total votes, with a difference of 10%, to win the first round. You can imagine that this request caused a lot of protests and complains about corruption. Luckily the present government listened/ or in the end didn’t dare to push, so on Wednesday the 22 of February when 99.5% of the votes were counted, they announced that there will be a second round of elections on April the 2nd.
The 3 winners of the first election round were:
Cynthia Viteri Jimenez 16.31%, Guillermo Lasso 28.10% and Lenín Moreno Garcéz with 39.35%.
Note: Also during the second elections weekend it will NOT be allowed to sell alcohol. Therefore all bars and discotheques will be closed on the 31st of March, 1st and 2nd of April.