Weekly Report - 18 February 2021 (WR-21-07)

ECUADOR: Bitter electoral dispute breaks out

Ecuador is no closer to defining the participants in the second round of presidential elections on 11 April. Yaku Pérez, the candidate of the country’s largest indigenous movement, is adamant that he finished second above Guillermo Lasso, a banker and centre-right candidate, and is demanding a recount. Pérez struck an accord with Lasso on 12 February over the nature of the recount. But Lasso subsequently backpedalled and the national electoral council (CNE) failed to approve a resolution declaring a recount. As a result, Pérez announced a march up the central spine of Ecuador, scheduled to arrive in Quito on 23 February, to pressure the CNE to approve a recount. Pérez promised peaceful protests but there is a risk the march could bubble over into violence. All of this plays into the hands of Andrés Arauz, the left-wing economist backed by former president Rafael Correa (2007-2017), who awaits either Lasso or Pérez in the run-off.

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