Latin America’s electoral calendar began to run this Sunday, February 7th. Amid tensions and indecision, 13 million Ecuadorians were called to the polls to elect 144 authorities, including president and vice-president, representatives to the Andean Parliament and assembly members.
According to the latest figures of the National Electoral Council (CNE), the socialist candidate of Correism, Andrés Arauz leads the vote count with 32.20 % of the votes, followed by 19.80 % of Yaku Pérez, of the indigenous movement Pachakutik and 19.60 % of Guillermo Lasso, of the Creo-PSC alliance.
With these results, the president of Ecuador will be elected in a second round on April 11th, since no candidate obtained more than 40% of valid votes.
The inauguration ceremony of President Lenín Moreno’s successor is scheduled for May 24, 2021.
The beginning of the voting day had few setbacks. In several provinces problems were reported with the installation of polling stations.
In addition, there was a lot of crowding outside electoral precincts, due to the fact that the Armed Forces of that country only allowed the entrance in groups of 15 or 20 people.
This Sunday’s elections were accompanied by 2,540 national electoral observers as well as 260 international observers, according to the National Electoral Council. The candidates, 15 men and 1 woman are competing for the presidential seat. However, only 3 of these candidates have captured the interest of voters: banker and businessman Guillermo Lasso, conservative, leader of the Movimiento Creo party and one of the wealthiest men in Ecuador; and Andrés Arauz, leader of the left and who would be the political follower of Correism, in addition he has held several positions in the Government, such as the Ministry of Knowledge and Human Talent.
The final candidate is the indigenous leader Yaku Pérez, who is the presidential representative of the political organization Pachakutic who is known for leading demonstrations against the two previous governments.
Keys to the elections
The vote in Ecuador for young people between 16 and 17 years old and those over 65 years old is voluntary, also called optional vote. But for those over 18 years old it is mandatory, and not doing carries an economic fine.
The country has just over 633,000 voters between the ages of 16 and 17. More than 1.6 million voters over 65 years of age and 10.8 million voters between 18 and 65 years old, according to the CNE.
Ecuador has 2,036 electoral precints in the national territory and 101 abroad.