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Ecuador to recount 12 percent of presidential votes


The defeated Ecuadorean presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso (R) leaves at the end of a rally with supporters in northern Quito on April 12, 2017. Lasso challeged the result of the election. / AFP PHOTO / RODRIGO BUENDIA

Ecuador will recount almost 1.3 million ballots from the country’s presidential election earlier this month, 12 percent of the total, the National Electoral Council (CNE) has said.

Socialist Lenin Moreno won the April 2 second round with a 51.15 percent share — more than 226,000 votes ahead of his conservative rival Guillermo Lasso, who has alleged fraud, refused to accept the result and asked for a full recount.

In a statement issued late Thursday, the electoral council said it approved a “recount of the votes corresponding to the disputed tallies” to be held on Tuesday.

A total of 1,275,450 votes will be recounted — 12 percent of the 10,637,996 votes cast.

Lasso, a right-wing former banker, dismissed the announcement.

“We will not accept anything less than the opening of all ballot boxes for the recount of all votes,” he said in a statement.

“We will not endorse any partial opening of ballot boxes with our presence.”

The CNE said only those votes disputed on a technical basis would be reviewed, adding that a full recount has “no legal basis.”

The council had set April 12 as a deadline for challenges and appeals.

Following the vote, the Organization of American States said its election observers “witnessed that there were no discrepancies between the ballot papers they observed and the official figures” reported by the council.

However, some Lasso supporters protested outside election offices in Quito and other cities. There were no injuries or arrests.

Moreno is set to replace fellow socialist President Rafael Correa on May 24.

His election bucks a trend in Latin America, where more than a decade of leftist dominance is on the wane.

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