Ecuador’s Unión por la Esperanza (UNES), the party of leftist presidential candidate Andrés Arauz is warning of an attempt by neoliberal candidate Guillermo Lasso and allies to steal the election.
Just after 2:30pm local time, UNES tweeted the following:
We alert the public and the international community about the new attempt by CEDATOS, an allied company of the banker Lasso, to misrepresent the electoral results of the second round elections in which President and Vice President will be elected.
Internal sources warn us that the pollster allied to Lasso, at 5:00 p.m. will disseminate FALSE data and will announce a difference of three points in favor of the banker, all to create the scenario that allows later to declare a technical tie and consummate the fraud.
We call on the international community, citizens, national and international observers and our militancy to remain alert and denounce this new attempt to tarnish this democratic day.@UNESECUADOR
Former President Rafael Correa called for supporters to be on high alert for “a fraudulent exit poll by CEDATOS to declare Lasso the winner,” saying the government of Lenin Moreno will use the media to diffuse the false information. Correa also remarked that exit poll conducted by UNES puts Arauz ahead.
At the second round of Ecuador’s 2017 elections, CEDATOS was among other polling firms which disseminated erroneous results and fueled fraud allegations by the right-wing and its candidate, Lasso. The firm reported that its exit poll calculated 53.02% for Guillermo Lasso and 46.98% for Lenin Moreno. In the National Electoral Council’s official results, Moreno actually won by over 2%.
Arauz has said that his campaign has a computer center for electoral control and that their results will be made public when polling centers close, at 5pm.
The National Electoral Council (CNE) has published a statement on social media, saying exit polls which can be made public at 5pm, are projections with a margin of error and are not official results. The statement reads that official results will begin to be broadcast by the CNE at 7pm.
On Saturday, the CodePink international electoral observation mission reported that it was “accosted by police” as it left a meeting. Citizens’ Revolution lawmaker Fausto Jarrin Teran also reported harassment by police during the same incident.
The election is being held under a nationwide State of Exception and with heavy security presence. Many have remarked that Moreno’s decreed State of Exception would make it difficult if not impossible for citizens to mobilize in defense of their democratic rights, as part of a strategy of the Moreno-Lasso right-wing to steal the election and effectively ban protest.
David Alder, head of the Progressive International election observer delegation, shared some initial observations, including ‘concerning signs’ going into today’s presidential election. He said that in addition to lawfare to prevent the elections from taking place and to keep candidates off the ballot, the sudden removal of the rapid count and sudden change of personnel is cause for concern. The Progressive International has therefore asked for patience for the full count.
In addition to Progressive International and CodePink, the CNE reported 294 accredited international observers are reportedly in Ecuador, including a mission sent by the Grupo de Puebla, CEELA, UNIORE, a mission sent by MERCOSUR and the OAS, among others.