BFF-01 Lasso leads Ecuador presidential election, 51% votes counted

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Lasso leads Ecuador presidential election, 51% votes counted

QUITO, April 12, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – Guillermo Lasso had a lead of more than nine percentage points over Andres Arauz in Ecuador’s general election on Sunday after 51 percent of the votes were counted, the National Electoral Council said.

Conservative former banker Lasso had 54.64 percent of the vote compared to socialist economist Arauz’s 45.36 percent.

Arauz, the protege of former president Rafael Correa, had earlier claimed victory citing an exit poll that he said gave him a 1.6 percent advantage.

Earlier, television stations Ecuavisa and Teleamazonas published the results of the Cedatos exit poll that gave Lasso almost a 6.5 percentage point lead over Arauz.

But the stations also said that the Clima Social pollsters — the ones cited by Arauz’s campaign team in claiming victory — had indicated the result was a technical draw and thus decided not to published their figures.

According to a count by AFP, there were 17 percent of invalid votes: amounting to around 925,000 votes.

Indigenous socialist candidate Yaku Perez, who narrowly missed out on the second round-run-off by less than half a percentage point, had promoted a policy of abstention.

Perez, who had polled more than 19 percent, claimed after February’s first round he was the victim of fraud.

His Pachakutik indigenous movement had refused to back either candidate ahead of the second round.

BSS/AFP/MSY/0710 hrs