Ecuador's Left-Wing Party Wins Big in Elections Across the Country

Ecuador's Left-Wing Party Wins Big in Elections Across the Country
Fecha de publicación: 
22 February 2017
Imagen principal: 
Despite securing a majority in the National Assembly, Ecuador's Alianza Pais party fell short of avoiding a presidential runoff by less than 0.7 percent.

While electoral authorities have not yet finalized the results of Ecuador's presidential race despite a "clear trend" toward the election going to a runoff, the governing left-wing Alianza Pais party has won the most votes across the ballots for president and representatives in the National Assembly and Andean Parliament.

RELATED: Lenin Moreno Continues the Fight for the Citizens' Revolution

Front-runner Lenin Moreno led the presidential race with 39.33 percent of the vote of more than 13 million voters. The second place candidate, former banker Guillermo Lasso of the right-wing CREO party, trailed more than 10 percent behind with 28.19 percent.

Although electoral authorities have said Ecuadoreans must wait for 100 percent of the votes to be counted in order to officially confirm whether or not the election will go to a runoff vote, National Electoral Council or CNE chief Juan Pablo Pozo said Tuesday that the preliminary results demonstrated an irreversible trend toward going to a second round. 

Although he fell short of the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a second round, Moreno received the highest percentage of the vote in the first round than any other president in Ecuador in past 40 years, with the exception of President Rafael Correa, who won the election in the first round with more than 50 percent of the votes in 2009 and 2013. The runoff vote will take place on April 2. 

"We are already in campaign uniform, ready to work," Moreno said Tuesday.

Ecuadoreans also voted Sunday in a pioneering referendum on tax havens asking whether voters agreed with a proposal to ban elected officials and public servants from holding wealth in offshore tax havens. With 92.8 percent of the referendum votes counted, the "Yes" vote led with 54.98 percent over 45.02 percent for the "No" side.

Moreno and his ally President Rafael Correa both campaigned for a "Yes" vote, while Lasso — tied to an offshore account revealed in the Panama Papers — supported the "No."

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For members of the National Assembly, according to CNE partial results, Moreno's Alianza Pais and allied groups are set to win an absolute majority with 79 of the 137 seats. 

Electoral authorities said Monday that Ecuadoreans should expect to wait three days for the results to be finalized to confirm whether or not the presidential election will go to a second round between the two front-runners. Despite calls for calm, the delay has sparked discontent among the opposition, with leaders whipping up indignation and calling for destabilizing protests. 

While vote counting unfolded after Sunday's vote, Moreno reiterated his commitment to the social and political project of the Correa government over the past 10 years, known as the Citizen's Revolution, which achieved gains such as cutting extreme poverty nearly in half, lowering inequality and expanding social spending.

“We will continue to serve the people, to continue our process, and to build our revolution," Moreno said during a televised press conference shortly after the polls closed. "But as the respectful citizens that we are, we will await the final results to see what's next."

National Electoral Council officials and international observers have confirmed that the election was fair and transparent.

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