QUITO – Ecuador’s National Electoral Council (CNE) began planning Thursday for the April 2 presidential runoff election between governing party candidate Lenin Moreno and opposition member Guillermo Lasso.
CNE chief Juan Pablo Pozo said Wednesday night that Moreno, of the left-wing Alliance PAIS party, had 39.3 percent of the vote to the 28.1 percent garnered by Lasso, of the center-right CREO movement, with 99.5 percent of the ballots counted.
Pozo’s announcement ended the watch being kept outside the CNE by Lasso’s supporters, who wanted to ensure a fair count.
The CNE offices were surrounded for four days by Lasso supporters and citizens with no party affiliation demanding transparency in the electoral process.
On Thursday, the area around the CNE offices in Quito was clear of demonstrators.
Planning is underway now for the runoff, with ballots being prepared and other details addressed, a CNE official told EFE.
The campaign for the runoff, according to the CNE calendar, will start on March 10 and end on March 30.
In Ecuador, a candidate needs 40 percent of the vote or more and a margin of victory of at least 10 percentage points over the second-place finisher in the first round to avoid a runoff.