Two nights of protests in Ecuador after Sunday’s stolen presidential election

The people of Ecuador are refusing to ignore the flagrant fraud that took place during Sunday’s presidential election. For two straight nights they have taken to the streets to protest Ecuador’s wannabe dictator Rafael Correa’s brazen attempt to steal the election for his handpicked successor.

Via USA Today:

Protests rattle Ecuador following election fraud claims

Ecuador's conservative presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso attends a rally in Quito, Ecuador, April 3, 2017.
Ecuador’s conservative presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso attends a rally in Quito, Ecuador, April 3, 2017.

QUITO, Ecuador – Supporters of Ecuadorean opposition leader Guillermo Lasso gathered in the streets for a second night Monday to protest what they consider fraud at the ballot box that tilted a presidential runoff in favor of his leftist rival.

Sunday’s razor-thin election win by ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno bucked the trend of right-wing electoral victories in South America following 15 years of leftist domination. Even as calls from Latin American governments congratulating Moreno poured in, Lasso, a conservative banker, vowed to keep up the fight against the installation of an “illegitimate” government.

“We’re not afraid of the miserable cowards who are on the wrong side of history,” he told a crowd of a few thousand supporters outside the National Electoral Council in Quito.

By nightfall, many supporters went home but a few hundred die-hards, some with children in tow, remained in a peaceful vigil. A line of riot police looked on.

The scene was much calmer than the one on election night, when thousands of outraged Lasso supporters shouting “fraud” crashed through metal barricades to almost reach the entrance of the electoral council’s headquarters in Quito. Scuffles also broke out in Guayaquil, where tear gas was fired to break up the crowd.

With more than 99 percent of polling places counted, Moreno had 51 percent of the vote while Lasso stood at just under 49 percent.

Key to Lasso’s challenge of the results in all of Ecuador’s 24 provinces were three exit polls that showed him winning. One by pollster Cedatos, which accurately predicted the results of the first round, gave him a victory by six percentage points.

Part of the problem is the opposition’s distrust of the National Electoral Council, which it says has become an appendage of the executive in the way the electoral board in Venezuela has all but lost independence under President Nicolas Maduro, a key ally of Correa.

“We’re looking at an unprecedented situation: those behind the fraud are the judges themselves,” Lasso told foreign reporters, adding that his campaign would seek a recount once the results are certified. “We expect they’ll deny our requests but in doing so they’ll be confirming the fraud.”

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