Ecuador’s Arauz calls on int’l community to remain vigilant during 2nd round of presidential vote

Andres Arauz, Ecuador’s leading presidential candidate, on Sunday called on the international community to be “vigilant” during the voting process for the second round of presidential elections on April 11.

“We call on the entire world to remain vigilant about what is happening in Ecuador (…) There are hidden intentions, with the interference of parts of the state in the electoral process,” said Arauz in a virtual press conference.

The candidate from the progressive coalition Union for Hope, who won the highest number of votes in the first round of presidential elections held Feb. 7, made the remarks after lawyers from his political organization presented a complaint to the Contentious Electoral Tribunal.

The complaint said the Comptroller’s Office and the State Attorney General’s Office were attempting “to affect the second electoral round” through an audit of the computer system that has been used in the Feb. 7 elections.

“This is not a time to politicize electoral institutions,” said the 36-year-old economist, who also served as Minister of Knowledge and Human Talent during the presidency of Rafael Correa.

Arauz, backed by Correa, obtained 32.72 percent of ballots, while center-right candidate Guillermo Lasso won 19.74 percent in the first round of vote. Ecuador’s National Electoral Council announced on Sunday that the two will face off in April’s run-off.