Ecuador president urges officials to give accurate vote count quickly

·2-min read
A soldier stands guard as National Electoral Council workers count votes in Ecuador

Ecuador's outgoing President Lenin Moreno called on the National Electoral Council (CNE) Wednesday to deliver accurate election results quickly, as doubt remains days after the vote over who will join Andres Arauz in an April presidential run-off.

"The country needs the results, but also the total confidence in those results," Moreno said in comments directed at the electoral body, which is still counting after Sunday's general election.

Right-wing ex-banker Guillermo Lasso is narrowly clinging onto second place with 19.66 percent, ahead of indigenous rights activist Yaku Perez at 19.61 percent, with 2.59 percent of votes still to be counted as of Wednesday evening.

Leftist economist Arauz is in front with 32.44 percent of the vote.

"This afternoon it has become clear that we will be in the second round," Lasso said, writing on social media that "the results will be consolidated in the coming hours."

Moreno called on the CNE to "respond to every request for revision" of votes subject to inconsistencies and to do so with "the utmost transparency."

CNE head Diana Atamaint insisted the body was "realizing a transparent process."

Perez, 51, an environmental lawyer, has already claimed a potential "fraud" was taking place to keep him out of the second round, although he didn't give details.

His supporters have been protesting outside CNE offices since Sunday.

Moreno, who didn't stand for re-election and whose term ends on May 24, has called on all candidates to demonstrate "their democratic vocation and the maximum care for social peace."

Perez has also called on his supporters to remain "calm... while waiting for the results patiently."

"We don't want conflicts, we don't want to break the peace, we don't want violence," he added.